His door would open when I arrived at mine,
click of key to lock so much easier to discern
than the yin & yang of satellite jet streams.
Eyeglasses humid; hair—Einstein-wild,
he would always act surprised to see me.
I never asked him for a forecast,
although I wondered about a man
who could read the braille of clouds,
who could predict the colliding thresholds
of highs & lows. The walls so thin between
us I could hear him yawn at night.
It wouldn’t have taken much for him to know
I already had a lover: boots on the stairwell,
scent of cigarette; our voices, an undulating
atmosphere, a bead of mercury in flux.
Did he hear me coo at the cat in my window,
her gold eyes fixed on the horizon? My lease,
only four seasons, from one August to another.
It would have been impolite of me to ask
why he wanted my address when I decided
I was moving to Florida; our thumbprints,
swirled hurricanes in the ocean on a map.
Here, I told him, pointing at the heart
of the peninsula, a destination charted between
latitudes & magnetic poles. Snowlessness,
my own barometric term; gradients and currents
that ebbed me south. I never wrote him back,
read with fleeting curiosity his letters penned
in aching plain-speak—hindsight, a theorem
that never works for weather or intention.
Laura Sobbott Ross’s writing appears in many journals. She was named as a finalist for the Arts & Letters Poetry Prize 2016. Her chapbooks are A Tiny Hunger from YellowJacket Press, and My Mississippi from Anchor & Plume Press. She has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize.2