“Leave Me Alone But Take Me With You” by Ali Shapiro (repost)

I can’t even be alone
when I’m alone, the way the field hums
all our old songs, the moon
pulling everything closer. You’re the ghost
in my throat, the lump I swallow
and swallow, the name that comes out
of my mouth no matter who
I meant to call. I meant to call more
people back. To love someone other
than you and myself and the dog.
Now look at the moon, its far
hard rim, a coin in the wide
dark palm of the sky—it’s the way
I remember your body, brilliant
and out of my reach. I’ve been lonely for years
but never minutes. That’s why
I’m so terrible at it, that’s why
I keep needing to be rescued. Night here
has a pulse, electric and warm, each ear of corn
a live wire. It’s the crickets, the thrum
of rubbed wings, it’s the way
you used to touch me—your limbs
all bows, my limbs
all strings. Look at the sky, it’s everywhere
tonight, relentless and empty
of signs. Look at the field, the way
there’s no one else in it, the way
even now, having left you,
I’m still what’s left.

“Leave Me Alone But Take Me With You,” by Ali Shapiro

originally posted: 2/21/14


(I will be on a digital hiatus/detox during October. I’ll be running a collection of previously posted material from 2014, the first year of Words. Hopefully it will be new or nearly new to most of you. I may be slow to reply to comments or emails that need response. Thanks for understanding, xo, Christy)