Sunday, June 5, 2016

DC Poets: Marianne Szlyk

The Space Between

She remembers riding, being driven
from county to county on state roads

two blue-black lanes cut through
cornfields, no houses, trees, or towns,

no radio or mixtape in the old car
only their words, only talk.

Or maybe they did not like the same music.
He liked disco; she liked hip-hop.

Fifteen years after, she mourned John’s death;
he did not even own one Beatles CD.

She didn’t know what was there
beyond the car, the road, the books they’d read,

in-house gossip, the stars he knew but she didn’t,
the drive to Indy or Champaign.

She didn’t know about the trees
or the wildflowers she was not seeing.

To her friend, this was still the East,
only twenty four hours’ drive from the coast

fueled on Diet Coke and cigarettes
bought at Wal-Mart on Route 26.

Having left home, she imagined
that she was changing

in the space between, going someplace
different from where she’d been.

She shook her newly red hair then.
She shakes her short brown hair now.

Back East again, she puts on her glasses
as if to see all that she had missed:

the abandoned farmhouses,
the yellow and red marigolds that outlast

trees and walls, crumbling brick towers,
people who emerge from whitewashed storefronts

in someone else’s online photographs
of all that grows in the space between.

Marianne Szlyk is the editor of The Song Is... , an associate poetry editor at Potomac Review, and a professor of English at Montgomery College. Her second chapbook, I Dream of Empathy, was published by Flutter Press.  Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print venues, including Silver Birch Press, Long Exposure, Contemporary American Voices, The Syzygy Poetry Journal, Cactifur, Of/with, bird's thumb, Yellow Chair Review, Peeking Cat Poetry Journal, Five2One Magazine's #thesideshow, Eunoia Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Taj Mahal Review . Her first chapbook is available through Kind of a Hurricane Press: She hopes that you will consider sending work to her magazine. For more information about it, see this link: 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting poem, Marianne. I like reading it, imagining you, imagining a persona, and enjoying the mystery. Takes more than geography doesn't it, to make that kind of change.

    Well done, my friend.