I drew your shadow from a drawer
crinkling with crumble-orange roses and first condoms.
Prom dress beads scattered.
We could not summon each other.
My wide window is too high for you to reach by climbing,
too airless for your zephyr brand of flight.
Tiny, twin-faced ghosts flicker in the nursery.
Your visits found me older and more attached to floorboards.
Hands grasp my hipbones, and my hands make
only the lightest feather fans on this glass.
What window will you press to next?
I take up my sharpest needle,
see it glint above this dark pool at my feet.
Staining the floorboards, I sew your shadow to me.
Its ink-black train trails me in the nursery, in the bedroom,
to the ground.
Becky Nicole James
Becky Nicole James holds an MFA from Queens University. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in many publications including MARGIE, Echo Ink Review, Illumen, and Moon City Review.
Artwork: C. Cole Phillips, Fashionable 1920s Woman in Spain, 1925