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I haven’t had a lot of what anyone would call ‘sartorial smarts’ in this life. But outside the café where Maria once sat in her belted yellow long coat there’s an empty chair— this wooden folding chair placed under a sky as bewildered by the thought of her savage yellow coat as both me and the weak, early December sun, a sun that floats the way Maria’s knitted newsboy cap did once, just above the horizon. On the sidewalk near this chair lie a handful of mauled wing feathers, plain gray & black feathers not a single passerby can step past without staring. These strollers seem surprised. Some of them even stop to roll a quill or two between thumb & index, drifting off, a look of mild dismay or concern on their faces— the sound in their ears a heartbeat their own but nevertheless not exactly like theirs, as if for that moment anyway they held in their soft, dry hands the living bird, their heads bent close. –for Charlie and Helen Simic
From Some of You Will Know © 2022 David Rivard, published by Arrowsmith Press. David Rivard is the author of seven poetry books. He's won many honors including the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets and a Guggenheim fellowship. He lives on the coast of Maine.