Postcard from the Knife Thrower by Alex Stolis

Postcard from the Knife Thrower
March 31 San Diego

I breathe in the scents of the room; sawdust, incense, faint lilt
of some kind of flower; a wine smell, bitter-light like aftertaste.
Fragrance alone and I know she is gone. I know she was here.

This was the place she took apart her body; restless, rumbling.
All of this is known. Not because of the white slip on the bed,
not the porcelain hairbrush, or the opened then forgotten make

-up tins. It’s the slow languid clack-clack of a broken fan beating
out a song of departure. I’ve been here before. I used to live here.
There, in the corner, where my coat used to hang. In the crack on

the ceiling I stared at while lying in bed. Wide awake insomnia-ed
out of my mind in the afterglow of lovemaking. We are legendary.
We become mythologized soon after death. All it takes is leaving.

by Alex Stolis

Editor’s Note: The first line of the second stanza sold this poem. The imagery is spot on: strange and perfectly spare. There are many poems about absence, but there are few which crack a reader’s emotional box so well.

Comments

2 responses to “Postcard from the Knife Thrower by Alex Stolis”

  1. Risa Denenberg Avatar

    lovely and devastating

  2. Joan Kantor Avatar
    Joan Kantor

    Powerful in its spareness that echoes the absence. The last line is absolutely haunting and so sad; one I’ll be thinking about for a while.

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