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Just Like That

Elizabeth Jacobson

"Can't Escapeh" by Holly Fisher. YoungArts.
I found a triangular stone for you on the beach
and sent it in a letter.

It was smooth and worn where the persistent fingers of the ocean
worried perfect grooves in its surface

that your thumbs might have a place to rest and rub.
When I saw it on the wet sand, just as the foam rolled back,

I thought it was crushed bone, or the fin of a fish, and I
remembered your large hands,

how you cast them about when something useful is being said.
In the letter I tell you mourning doves

call Hoo, Hoo – Hoo from my tamarind tree,
the black bands at the back of their necks

open and close as the birds meet
the curiosities of the world,

their song a lament
for giving too much to what’s ineffable,

and pulls us toward an internal edge.
When the letter came back, marked for insufficient postage

I went out for more stamps
and believe it or not, saw a woman get hit by a car.

Her body lifted up and flew over the traffic,
landing almost at my feet.

Her sturdy red leather clogs
remaining in the middle of the street.

Elizabeth Jacobson‘s recent work has appeared or will appear in American Poetry Review, Orion Magazine, Ploughshares, Plume, The Laurel Review, Women’s Studies and others. She has chapbooks forthcoming in 2017 from Dancing Girl Press and Miriam’s Well.