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Elise Hempel

Posted by admin on February 23, 2012

Elise Hempel’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Spoon River Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, and Tar River Poetry, among other magazines and journals.



No Stone


No stone where I can place my feet and stand;

no piece of ground I own. No gate to unlatch,

step through to somewhere; no lane to turn down each

October twenty-eighth; no weighted, furrowed

words my eyes can stay on, fingers touch.

Not even a brass container I can reach

my hand around, or that makeshift box we held

out to the gulf, emptied to waves and wind.

Only these loose, flat photographs that keep

sliding from memory, a voice on a thin brown strip

that sounds like yours, reminds me to pick you up

by one o’clock, saying honey, this fleeting blip

I can’t quite grasp at the beep, and I’m left to believe

the scent of your hairspray fading from a sleeve.