Mark J. Mitchell
He lost his second wife in Buffalo.
She hid behind his books and slipped away
on their due date. Libraries are safe–dust
holds warmth. It smells like powdered hands. She curled
under some shelves and stayed. He had to go—
anywhere. Two yellow lines knew his name.
He loved spilled gas, new tar. Some arctic gust
Chased him through a door. He followed a world.
She lives on paper now. Her dreams are sad
but pretty. His eyes only squint at signs.
He never wonders. She thinks that's too bad
but flips her page. For now, distance excites
him like flame. She knows that her pictures will fade
quick as brittle paper, She swallows time.
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places,Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. His chapbook, Three Visitors has recently been published by Negative Capability Press. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, is forthcoming from Folded Word and his novel, Knight Prisoner, was recently published by Vagabondage Press and a another novel, A Book of Lost Songs is coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster.