Here is an icehouse that no longer houses ice.
Here is an alfalfa meadow in need of mowing.
Here is the barn where a sauced and saucy welder
has left behind his anvil. It was never his barn.
Here is a clearing in the woods that didn’t exist
until December’s ice storm. It was once a grove
of maiden ferns and hardwood trees. A kind man
cleared the roots and trunks, then kindly retreated.
I have stood in this clearing and cannot decide
if I miss the trees or if I love newborn clarity.
How can I love a damaged place? But I love
rooms and cities I’ll never return to, and once
I loved a man for how he damaged me. Here
is the footbridge unbridged by that storm. Here
is the fire pond the walker could not find: he did not
know my route. Here is the water. Where is the fire?
Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Chang
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.