Jenny Minniti-Shippey

Alexander Pelham, 1992 – 2014
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey

Your ass in that chair,
there on the patio in the dark of a Wednesday,
bark of the bougainvillea eaten silent by loopers,
neighbor dogs bark, you’re reading a Dylan Thomas poem
not quite by memory, the calm
belovéd monologue: I gave you Elizabeth Bishop. I’d practiced
in the shower, her words some kind of Babel-tower of hope—

I didn’t know losing you would be like Bishop
claimed—you remember, you recorded:

she said it was an easy

thing to master, and that empty chair is vaster than the patio,
lit by the lights you bought me, the gift
you made faster than I could thank you, and how
will I thank you now,

your ass as far gone as Thomas, not gently:
stop quoting poems at me, stop,
laughter, stop Wednesdays,
and go ahead, brave loopers,
chewing on the dark.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

Jenny Minniti-ShippeyJennifer Minniti-Shippey is the Managing Editor of Poetry International literary journal, and a professor at San Diego State University. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Jackson Hole Review, In Posse Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, among others.

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