Visibility by Maura Stanton
You’re a roller coaster of emotions, said a stranger to me, in a letter.
Of course. Hasn’t the universe ever turned your world upside down?
I have no illusions.
When I roll towards you at dawn,
I can’t see you in the fog.
We’ve simply memorized each other.
I read a story about a giant
who couldn’t see his tiny wife
for all the clouds
drifting around his huge, sad head.
He’d stroke the tops of fir trees
thinking he’d found her hair.
In another version, his wife
turned into an egret,
her strong wings
brushing her husband’s face;
then she fell into the sea
weighted down by his immense tear.
Let me tell you this:
I miss your shadow, too,
but I know it waits above the fog
black as the shadow of the oak
you saw in your dream
when you woke up, almost happy.
I know our town’s invisible.
The pilots on the way to Alaska
think they’re over the sea.
Even if they glimpsed a light
through a rift in the clouds
they’d call it a ship
loaded with timber for the south.
Still, I hear those planes.
Last night on the satellite map
I saw land without clouds.
Remember, I groped for your hand.
Suppose the men go barefoot?
Suppose the women own fans?