Erin Hopson has never been published and has taken only a couple poetry classes on her way to earning her Masters in Social Work. She currently works as an HIV case manager and lives with her girlfriend, three cats, and two dogs. During summers, the most enchanting child comes to stay and all three humans delight in discovering new flowers, riding bikes, feeding swans and an assortment of other mischievous deeds. The poems creep in when she leaves, in the same way that Autumn makes the air crisp. This wasn’t exactly how it always happened, but regardless of the situation, each poem has been proceeded by the “snap” of something leaving and the slow burn that is left behind.
To sustain a loss without sinking under it: How Aimee remembers Jaguar
For Felice Schragenheim and Lilly Wust
photographs of women whose lips rejected
the stretched curve of smiles, instead waited
plump and teasing. It was better if water clung
to pinned curls, trickled and pooled in gullies.
Cattails should fringe the water's edge.
teas that smell of fruit and spice, when brewing
produce more steam than common kinds. See
how stunning an iris in a chipped vase looks.
Add lemon scones and clink of cups held by hands
whose touch caused fires just that morning.
sink into the spaces between knees, brush bottoms
of feet. The softest parts pursue something equal
to spoon, fingers trace patterns over smooth
and slick terrain. How pliable, the chasm between lovers
where welcome linen soothes the burn.
with head rested on satin covered shoulder
the smell of war and sweat is more palatable.
Dizzying twirl and liquor makes the laughter
of fleeing friends less harsh. This was the only place
where women could whisper their true names.
V. On Outings
there would have been sadness. One used to carry
the blanket and one the wicker basket. With only this set,
comparing the size of footprints is less important.
Beyond the cattails, ash and soot cling to the pond,
but comfort is in the scent of spice and fruits and smoke.