To an old man at the curb alone
Don’t count on your dog pack boys
to crash through the stone of time,
when yours and their faces shone
hard with triumph and rage.
None of them can reach through the years to guide you.
You—that wasn’t you, with a heart thick with noise.
Think, as cars scream by and the heat of the city
asks for your breath,
of your blood steady with the thrum of a lover.
Say her name: Barbara
It touches your lips together.
I believe you.
Stand at the crosswalk holding your own soft-paper hands
and think of them wrapped in her hair.
Think as you look and wait to cross
the light blinking, blinking:
that was you, that was you, that was you.
Heather Steinmann lives in Fargo, North Dakota. She holds an MFA from Minnesota State University Moorhead and is ABD in the English department at North Dakota State University, where she teaches writing. Previous poems have appeared in *82 Review, Red Weather, and the Fargo TedX Poetry Broadside Series.
Susan Solomon is a freelance painter living in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also edits and cartoons Sleet Magazine, an online literary journal. Susan was recently laid off from her medical office job after 11 years and is now happily painting full time. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the same school that claims David Lynch as an alumni. To view more paintings, please visit www.susansolomonpainter.com