She was the color of grapefruit light
through a ruby. And lovely
the way the hills are lovely after
the evening horses have moved away.
There was a winter day, a day
it was zero, and there I was and
there she was, already moving
away from me and I knew it. She was
too pretty for me. She is still. I called
her Liz. And still she is Elizabeth Still.
I put death on the cellarette
next to my water glass
and novel. The next morning
the water glass was empty and
the book through to the end.
COREY MESLER has published five novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002), We Are Billion-Year-Old Carbon (2006), The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010), Following Richard Brautigan (2010), and Gardner Remembers (2011), two full-length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems (2008) and Before the Great Troubling (2011), and 3 books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009), Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011) and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. His website is www.coreymesler.com.