A Walk through the Neighborhood before Nightfall

Laura Sobbott Ross is a widely published award-winning poet whose work has appeared in more than 100 literary journals. In addition to four Pushcart Prize nominations, she was a finalist for the Art & Letters Poetry Prize and won the Southern Humanities Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. She has published two chapbooks, A Tiny Hunger and My Mississippi, and a third book, The Graffiti of Pompeii, is scheduled for publication this year.

A Walk through the Neighborhood before Nightfall

I am breath and ghost; not of these houses—
cozy dioramas swung shut, but not leveraged
enough by fences or lamp light that I can’t
smell something delectable on your grill, neighbor.
I long for your perspective, to stand in your window
looking out, to carry the scent of your home
in my hair. Did I tell you I once saw a fox
by that bridge? From here, those cypress trees
sway as tall as flagships. How did you perfect
that razored plane in your hedge? We share
constellations and windchimes, the same sparrows
at the feeder. Clouds. Pollen. Potholes. Not to
to mention this particular dimension of time
and space. Before we get too deep, let me
rearrange your spice rack, help you find your keys
and sandals, linger with you over that jigsaw
puzzle on the dining room table. You’ll laugh
when I tell you I once received an empty fortune
cookie before boarding a plane. I’m wayward,
too, you’ll confide. From these shadows, I can
almost hear the dinner dishes being rinsed
in the sink, and read like braille the coins
beneath the cushions of your sofa. Let’s light
the candles, drink the wine. Break open the long jar
of olives. You see, your old dog loves me. But don’t
worry, I’ll be gone in the morning. What a nice girl
she was, you’ll remark over coffee and rye toast,
and no one will be able to remember my name.

One thought on “A Walk through the Neighborhood before Nightfall

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s