Ellis by Emilie Menzel

Ellis believes that those on the other side of her window do not
know when they have been seen, and so she stays at the window,
beloved of window, watching.
To know and to care, we understand, are not the same act, different
black gloves for different untidy hands. Ellis, the eye embraces,
the eye can curl, the eye sweeps in-between all a body’s skins.
But still, Ellis watches the neighbor shovel his sidewalk.
He shuffles the snow off the sidewalk, he shuffles the snow
on the sidewalk, where does it go?
Ellis learns how to carve a lucky rabbit’s foot, how to pull
the blade with her thumb and then smoothly click the cut, bone
undone, and place the blade inside her pocket. What other items
go inside a pocket?
A sister’s lint pockets. A mother’s clean pockets. Ellis’ own dirt
crumbed pockets. Ellis, walking with forest. Ellis, in a forest of
shadow. Ellis, a forest of grey ravens’ shadows.
To look out, I look out.
Emilie Menzel’s poetry and prose are recently published and forthcoming with Black Warrior Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Spectacle, and Yalobusha Review, amongst other locations. She is the recipient of the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry (selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen)​ and the Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction (selected by Leigh Newman). Raised amongst the doldrums of ​Georgia summers, Emilie currently lives in wooded North Carolina and online at @emilieideas and emiliemenzel.com.