“No Ice” by Ruby Browne

Maybe I should just write poetry, I think.
As if saying more with less is easy
and words can make sense of
the ache still clinging to my chest.

Like we can sculpt emotions
out of a dictionary,
lay it out in front of us and say,
“Oh yes, now I see.”

It was like any other summer night
when we sat on the steps of my parents’ house.
Smoking Marlboro cigarettes and
drinking bourbon. No ice.

I didn’t know it was the
last time we’d be there
before you wandered
into the woods with a gun.

But I wonder if you did.
If, when we hugged good night,
you held on just a little tighter
than you would have otherwise.

What I’ve been trying to say is–
in poetry and empty howls to the universe–
“I’m sorry you didn’t know,
but I saw you. I did.”


ruby bookNo Ice” by Ruby Browne. Ruby shares creative nonfiction and poetry on her blog RubyBrowne.com. Ruby recently published Unrailed: A collection of poetry and creative nonfictionavailable now on Amazon. (I’ve read Unrailed, and highly recommend it.)

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