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Lindsey Hutchinson



       For Louise Glück, after reading “A Summer Garden”

In a few decades I plan to find a postcard

from last year. When it arrived

she was back six weeks, but two months ago wrote 24 December

snowing in Berlin glad to be gone for Christmas

people speak and I only say ‘Ja.’ And not missing

her anymore I will scan the missive scribbled in margins

of a German Italian deli promotion. Note

how much meaning can be in a card with three languages still bleeding

from a drizzle endured at twenty.

Running my fingers over its face expecting Braille

a fourth tongue to tell how I was wanted in Berlin

how we can care over oceans

I feel no stamp. No swollen node of international postage

only an aura of having traveled.

Stowed in Death in Venice last spring

with a plotted nod to poignancy it owes

its existence to a defiant despite. Intrepid letter

reached me running with her two iterations in tepid rain.

I’m back and it’s lilac time

Title from Charles Wright’s “A Short History of My Life”

and you tell me trim and trim and make beauty. Unsure whether you mean me or the tree I shuffle out, slow picking. It would be lovely to bring the whole genus, but my arms and our yard are disorder—or bring only the roots but you’ve always hated how everything must cling to survive.

Lilac time clusters in panicles and panics, moments so dense they don’t float. Resent heavy out to the tetherball pole where I used to take swings at myself—past raspberry bushes dead a decade or more, asparagus mowed down in fits of maintenance. I kick lonely so hard it hurls back—let the rope spool, shrinking radians. Let moments twine through the settling branches—leave.

We three


We two are the second harmonic generation. Not harmonious

but still sounding, tension in the vacant steps between. I lope

over for resolution and assure you of our spatial relations.

How we need not be near, only hearing.


You two are the undersides of eggshell, brittle smooth surrounding.

Talking masculinity over mesclun greens, you drink a bottle of wine

each and root into the hardwood. One asks about queer southern

things and answers come out in a drawling falsetto, pitched refusal

to call low latitudes doomed.


We two are specters, secondhand story collections thumbed and

discarded in basement shops. Kindred enough we are candid, warm

with riesling and revealing. Huddled masses in the kitchen, we three

in bright squeezed light from stained glass.

All rights reserved to Lindsey Hutchinson.

Poetry: Katharine Rauk

Poetry: Michael Pate