I Approach and Notice by Emilie Menzel

I have the bright noise splits and what we call the bodily animal:
the line between reportage and poetry when we feel the impetus
for such required distinction.
Dark headed, the fold a horse on my shoulders, her body skin like
a tarp over metal folding chairs. No feet, like a shadow, no feet,
like a sword, no feet.
I’ve spent all day moving a hidden anxiety that I am alone
in an empty house, living with furniture. I offer the green bottles
a peculiar kindness and let them sleep on my windowsill. There is
a peculiar kindness to let an object sleep on your windowsill.
I pretend France lives outside my window. There is a church
clock bell in town that, when it rings, feels like home.
Some kids thought it’d be a neat trick to lean on my door buzzer
until I answered. And I did answer, and they ran out the lobby
door, giggling.
It is hard to face lights in a white-walled room. I am easing
an impulse here by closing my eyes.
And how is the body now? A cold blue, driving back in snow.
Water on the road throws light I don’t need. All lights seem like
they’re my flashing body. All lights warn I’m driving distracted of
light when driving at night.
I fall on the floor at the gaze of a photograph I carried home
from France and framed in our hallway.
Because I found it with love. Because I gave it with love.
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.