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William Walsh



Listening to the Radio While Driving Through Toomsboro


Last night, Isabella called from Chicago, the first time 

in seven years. Evidence that any love can fail. 


There goes your proof, behind every front door 

war rages. It’s our nature, she reminded me:


Women don’t realize how close men are to leaving 

and never returning.


After an hour, we trailed off into the natural order 

of who we’ve become without each other: bartender 


of metaphors, and she, a filmmaker

of how the world should be. 


In a dream I had last week, we had coffee 

in her Brownstone, sat reading


the Sunday paper at the kitchen table,

strawberry tablecloth, manuka honey


and smoked salmon. There was a sadness 

floating through the house for what was lost.


We slept together, again, the dream,

the delusion, the mistake of naked warmth, 


the disguise of love for lust. 

Every day, for someone, it’s the end 


somewhere. My heart is a warehouse, 

where, with ease, I learned to note the passing of time 


by tax returns, piles of leaves raked in my yard, 

a new job, and lately, friends who have died.


Now, “Losing My Religion,” arouses a depth of memory: 

how, when driving straight through one night from Mackinac Island 


to Atlanta, we transferred one memory for another, 

her long distance collect-calls and Amtrak ride to the suburbs,


a long winter’s kiss under a streetlamp, snow floating down, 

and a warm hand sliding up the backside of her shirt to snap her bra loose. 


There is an understanding one comes to over the years: 

from time to time, we dip our toe in a pool 


of brackish water, with caution, 

to hear a voice. A laugh. And then, we move on.



Devorah Baum 

Adachioma Ezeano

A. C. Grayling

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