10.2 / March & April 2015


The things she forgets, that I called her
by her last name when we slept
together, that we were each looking
for something we couldn’t say, holding
the barest moments hostage on skin
& on paper, that I would be nothing
like her in the end, no lilies to say
I dare you, I dare you, please don’t—
that everything & nothing changed
when the leaves fell & the sky whispered
itself grey as the charcoal in her hand
when she sketched limes, blood
oranges, that the snow slushed
into the wailing creek & we swam,
that it was like diving for pearls
blindfolded in oil-gunked debris,
over & over, in numbing flesh
& everyone knew what we were
searching for but our own bodies
& when our knowing finally came,
resting heavy like the morning dew
on the spider webs, it would be
unwieldy & spurred by spring thaw
gnashing into the creek-sides,
that we wouldn’t know how to be
reckless anymore, that we would learn
to be small & cautious & afraid,
& once it was all over & done with
we would speak of each other
the way one speaks of the dead—
fondly, with respect to what is done.

Ruth Elizabeth Morris is the Assistant Editor of apt Journal. She is the recipient of the Nancy Thorp Poetry Prize and the Nancy Penn Holsenbeck Prize, both from Hollins University. She currently teaches at the University of Maryland, where she is an MFA candidate in the poetry program.
10.2 / March & April 2015