I Saw Her
In the old house, the one out past
the invisible line that hemmed in town,
separated it from wild, I saw her.
She wore gray, a worn dress, moved
slow yet skipped beyond sight in an instant.
Her shadow was slower still, lingering
behind, fingers brushing the scarred wood
of the house, ticking along the eaves.
Bent and bruised, her eyes too bright
to meet, still heart somewhere in that chest,
translucent as the rest of her.
Skin the color of pencil marks etched
into cream-colored paper, the kind that leave
stains on your fingertips, prints everywhere.
There was nothing left in the house—
empty rooms, ghosts of furniture barely
visible on the dust-drenched floor,
cobwebs arched in every corner.
She lived alone, her own patron saint,
and she lived also in my head of a night,
wandering through every corridor
and lounging in the rooms as though
they belonged to her. Maybe they did.
I have hidden the knives.
Everything was blurry, and I couldn't see
how close the edge to skin, how harsh
the curve. White. I remember that.
Pale and whiter than anything
in memory. So stark, at first
my uncertain eyes took danger
for sorrow. A neatly folded tissue,
the way you do sometimes, the way
I find them pressed between
a pillow and couch cushion,
forgotten. He was stone, and I couldn't
move him. The cat's lazy rolling
an echo of hours ago, when I didn't
imagine this quiet.
Savannah Cooper holds a BA in English—Creative Writing from Lincoln University and currently lives in southern Missouri with her husband, dog, and two cats. Her work is forthcoming or has previously appeared in Right Hand Pointing, The Coe Review, Plenilune Magazine and Mud Season Review.