Somewhere Between Detroit and Syracuse by Jessica Lyne Jefferson

for: S.D.

We walked barefoot downtown,
Took off our raincoats under the falls,
With our pant legs rolled up,
We swam in Niagara’s fountain.

We met each other there.

We danced in a three foot pond,
Playing with someone else’s children.
Side-stepping forgotten wishes,
We filled the lines of our poem.

You asked me to marry you there.

There, when I told you of my
Dysfunctional family and lovers,
A girl’s need for stability; her strife
Of seeking greatness and purpose.

You said we would live life humble.

You went back to New York;
Taught your son to say my name.
Wrote me into your lectures;
Read my poems to your class.

You asked me to marry you there.

I, lost a tear for my ignorance,
Stepped away from myself,
Trying to recreate my vulnerability-
An insulting offer to you.

So I put those words away.

You were the first mirror to see my back eyes.
The first man to curse a shooting star,
For the raging flame it was.
The first poem I wrote,
As a woman.


Source: The author, 2001. Written in 1997.

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