The Girlfriend Elegies

Poems

October 22, 2018 Issue

The Girlfriend Elegies

By Rebecca Morgan Frank


I did not find the body.
It was wintertime where I was; women gathered

in bars. Their bodies like bare trees,
naked arms giving fruit to hands

in gestures. Ice was everywhere.
I could still feel the command of your hands

around a woman’s waist
when two-stepping—it was the only time

you wore joy. Your anger muscular
in your small tired body that always hurt.

I had seen your childhood once—there
was a hole in the wall of the living room.

It led somewhere.
Outside, the land was dry, grassless.

We had come to rescue the dog,
whom we found wrestling her chain in the dirt.

There was a lake somewhere nearby,
but no sign of it except boats behind cars.

Later, I learned your father was a sculptor,
your mother what we now call a hoarder.

The road home was long, more dryness.
Even the dog was wrapped in silence.

We slept in the back of the truck, our heads
at the opening, watching stars fall.

The future then a mirage: a place I’d save you.
I bought you things on my credit card.

We drank in the bars where everyone knew you and
the Southwest summer burned

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