Ansel Adams, to Patsy English
You and I
in the mountains,
are the same in all the ways
that are seductive.
At home, Virginia
tends to rosemary and basil,
coaxing life from earth.
I send her
no photographs from this trip,
worried that she might see
you in the chiaroscuro
of the sharp mountain ridge
Against the pewter sky.
We make love standing,
your back grating against
so that you can see the skyline
over my shoulder;
through your eyes, purple,
and in photograph, only shades of gray.
You are already black and white,
black hair and eyes
against skin like dandelion milk.
Your resolution is too great for film
When we eclipsed the sun
for the final time of the millennium,
I was weeks from my sixteenth birthday.
The August heat that year
was quiet and full.
Each night, I would return home
from my summer job,
the days sweat dried
to a faint, granular crust
on my skin.
I don't remember the eclipse.
At nearly sixteen,
the magnitude of my aspirations
threatened to split my skin.
I spent much of my time willing
myself to remain whole.
To say I was preoccupied
would be an understatement.
I don't remember the eclipse,
but even I remember the electricity,
the building tension
of existence drawing breath
to sing out the century.
As a child,
I had an imaginary friend named Edgar.
He wore a black derby hat
and a green checked sport coat.
He was ageless,
but somehow older than I was.
Edgar was braver
than I could have hoped to be at six.
Some days, he went outside naked,
with his hat perched atop his head.
He held philosophical conversations
with the bats in the attic
and never covered his eyes
during Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
I searched for a year
after he disappeared.
His empty sport coat lay crumpled
on my bedroom floor,
beneath his abandoned hat.
After Edgar left,
I climbed the attic stairs,
my face ghostlit by the flashlight
clutched between my slippery palms.
I stood beneath the peaked roof
and felt the warm whoosh
of the bat wings beating air against my face.
Cara Losier cohosts a bi-weekly poetry night at The Bridge
Cafe in Manchester, NH. She has been a featured poet at venues
throughout New England, including The Cantab Lounge in
Cambridge, MA and The Portsmouth Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH.
Past publication credits include Blackbook Press, Down in the
Dirt, and Ardent!.