A place other than here isn’t so tall or glass A place not even like Pittsburgh and all of the bridges each p no longer


Not so because any letter but p knows what to do Knows what color yellow the bridges mean to be What says p as in pebble pedantic peddler As this morning The sidewalk As the sidewalk to  the car The car to the road to the parking lot where there is no rain on the window


Not p nor shade not shadow will fall vertically the way it does today Shade will fall again tomorrow which might say come sit here and relax Her shadows are the way they were in the shower Say nothing can stay fully in form An arm and a hand will disappear which means Don’t look down where sun finds you at your feet Not a shadow but the sun making form not shade


No not the cab from the parking lot Where she went to Not what she talks about Shade the same as shadow and of course you understand that anything of air remains impossible and metal As she understands now being a long time on her way with engines


p as in pedestrian


When she stands at the counter in Detroit Her blue coat The barista can see she is going somewhere Everyone can see somewhere to go She would never buy a paper but gum the cashier thinks A magazine with a white couch on the front white smile


palms pretzels predicate pansies are things you would imagine she’d say


Somewhere another woman takes a taxi home and someone there greets her


The walkway does not reveal itself And again no place she has but here which means Someone should want to go somewhere




Why a vinyl record except for the way you will turn it in your hand The axis silent except the music not any music but concertos The number of years you have not turned a vinyl record in your hand Not your hand Her hand And the day can say only Tar can say Asphalt with many lines Yellow lines imagined like horses in stalls the cars become Do not Do not like horses become something


If not for p The ceiling sounds like books falling and with p The room beneath the sound of books falling makes what you call it Bookcases Chair but Corners  are seldom a place where The room begins Not when p  says push


 p says probably None of what is said is said without someone Someone always must say something to someone else or the room must be empty


Everyone should know One talking to another I am talking You are talking She will not say but sees Mostly pairs Each chair each table


Each rug pairs another so that the room cannot be less than even or less than embrace though Love cannot be said having been said so much Talking to each other so often but not anymore Most talking has been forgotten


 [a lark warbles here and you can say nothing of it that matters enough]


A vinyl record because once the room was filled with them Shimmer the air Music did and will always at night You paint a table silver because of this shimmer and think Pittsburgh again Philadelphia where there are bridges


Someone talks about her Someone says pimentos peaches po’boy perennial Gardening also something to talk about Magnolia in any conversation Say little of  p the browns bark pink hip white tip magnolia again Say something about tomatoes about the palms that


grow there The air not so dry enough to kill this strain of plant Not a porch but a patio A deck


The song of things drapes the chain link even though songs are hard to admit The wind Which could also admit to songs The wind not contained by the room nor the chain link The wind shredded by an engine stripped sky The wind which has come from Santa Barbara A very long ago sound


Every sound you think When no one will say Once it was a can opener Once a broken glass Once a window The night again Not dark Not really


Remember it this way Silent A rock Gray pitted flecks of white rocks Remember you are lying The rocks have no need for metaphors




Plenty of people The drums on the other side of the parking lot Plenty needing to be talked about Colette I have not talked to Colette in a very long while and since then Lenore has died without me talking enough to her


People whose names you might recognize Some people want so much to be the person talked about and thought not to have talked to in a very long while


But flying


Beneath squares of farms and fields flat and obvious The smell of engine may fade when you are in the air or you may simply get used to it Your lungs forgetting the choke Flying so near everyone


But two men embrace near an Avis sign As everywhere there are embraces one way or another Goodbye and Hello all embraced in the usual ways These men The shoulders of their suits wrinkle then Someone will look away As in the bathroom Women cleaning and you look away




An engine Then an engine won’t admit anything but songs because songs shouldn’t be said ever unless singing can be a part of it all




The whir about someplace Through the window it would be quiet by the seats not chairs where everyone waits and then the engine You would mean to tell someone but you do not know her as she sits You do not know her red scarf or how she wraps it so that there is no beginning Tell her an engine whirs loudly here No one who hears the whir will know that you came

Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Ending in Planes, (Noemi Press 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press, 2003), When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002), and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press 1999). Her poems have been most recently anthologized in Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets, Black Nature, and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Yaddo. She is Associate Chair of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado, and is a Contributing Editor at Poets & Writers Magazine.