I know now: if living is stretched as a hide is
over what’s called a life— in some places
the two touch. Years blew by— our careers, young family.
There was the joke about the water cooler,
and of course the tomato soup. There was committing
the soles of my feet to memory, there was
bringing them to your mouth. Days chiseled sudden
and bright. They ought to have a monument.
No one tells you this. I imagined us as a topography’s
white peaks, wisping clouds hung among them
like tears. Way up there, shining with snow.
In the park the grass was grey
even where the ice retreated.
I looked at buildings, the fog,
the sidewalk beneath my feet, and saw no color.
The world was blank, I thought, the day
some sort of pen-pusher’s error.
A memory came to me then
of a door I’d once shut
defiantly, then caught in its window
a reflection, windblown, of something
resembling light, so material
it reached me now, and found and stoked
within me a part of what
I’d long ago surrendered.
There was time, it seemed,
when what was to come, I felt,
was a seam that stitched a pattern.
No, I remembered, later,
as evening fell, it wasn’t light,
but the sky I’d seen,
shot through, as now, with gold.
Stefania Gomez (she/her) is a queer writer, teacher, and audio artist from Chicago's South Side who received her MFA in poetry at Washington University in St. Louis in 2022. Currently teaching at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago, she has received fellowships from the Dirt Palace, Sewanee Writers Workshop, and the International Quilt Museum. Her work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day series, Annulet, The Missouri Review, The Offing, and Cosmonauts Avenue.