mary mccall



magazine clippings

I mailed back his pillow,
standard shipment.
The one with well wishes
written by friends
in gold fabric pen
four years ago
when today seemed
so comfortably far away.

I didn’t sleep with it
until the last night
after his phone call.
Holding it close, the loops
of dried gel pressing
into my cheek. Before,
the pillow sat on my bed
during the day. Slept with
the carpet at night.

You wish for something
for so long that you don’t
know what to do with it
once you have it, except
hold it in your hands,
test its weight,
wait for it to melt
or dissolve into light.
Stick out your palm to see
if you touch cool glass,
or just the breeze.

Sliding the package
across the counter,
I thought of the man
I passed by on the corner
of 55th and 6th Avenue,
sitting on the base
of Robert Indiana’s LOVE,
smoking a cigarette.

Later, receipt fragments
fluttering into the bin
like snow.

Maybe we only see flashes
of love like fireflies
in the summer dusk
that we chase after
with rinsed jelly jars.
Maybe we can put together
all that we know
like a collage of sorts
and make some sense
out of it. Or just wind up
with a bunch of magazine
clippings: an eye,
a belt buckle,
a guitar pick.

That all I know, for now,
is that moment
where you stretch your hand
into the darkness
and wait for the fingers
to clasp back.

Mary McCall a recent graduate from Fairfield University. During her time at school, she started a literary magazine called The Cream Filling Literary Magazine of which she was co-editor. This past summer, she attended a graduate poetry class at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop taught by Jane Mead. Her poetry has appeared in Teen Ink, Poet’s Ink, Chantarelle’s Notebook, The Storyteller, and Thick with Conviction.

back to issue 11

take me home