Michele Harris

She drives to God

knows where, veers left onto 79,

watches exactly where this road

won’t lead. City lights

starring her back, she cuts

a lane of traffic, pulls

into Al’s Fresh Melons. Black coffee,

a pack of Newports, her husband’s brand.

How smoke used to slip

out of his mouth, like words he meant

to take back—

the way the wind erases

its own work, rousing leaves

when yesterday it ripped them down.

Michele Harris received her B.A. in English Literature from Allegheny College, where she served as a senior editor for the national undergraduate journal The Allegheny Review. She was awarded the Paul G. Zolbrod prize and, more recently, the David A. Kennedy Prize for her thesis, Blackdamp. Her work has appeared in The Rectangle, The Susquehanna Review, and Another Book. She is graduating with an MFA in Poetry from UMass Boston, where she teaches creative writing.

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