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Lindsay Tigue



             To M (after your engagement)


I wrote you a postcard, but I think

I lost it   Or I lost your address or you moved and did you tell me that

or did you tell someone else

Perhaps you notified a different

me in a different city


As far as our past, did you tell me or did I

tell you    We danced together as teenagers, the length

of one song   Even before our years, this happened

And this card    it was something

I drew myself (I think), the crayoned

outlines of a mountain, a lake,

or a rocky outcrop along a highway

In it, I told you about this summer, how I touched a tree

Branches and bark over 3,200 years old

when it died   I had to look up the exact number so that

I could tell you     I also mentioned new cities

we never went together

How I saw broken ceramic in holy blue, mosaics set

right in the sidewalk     I told you I don’t even have to

explain what that meant     Did you know, I can’t remember

dancing     Fifteen years ago; I try and

try to see myself in that gym

the jewel-pink gossamer, the flower on my wrist

I try to see the faces

of the other people, of you, but everything’s

lost a razor edge, its relative

definition     On another night, I do remember holding you in the

kitchen in Indiana, and outside the window an empty pool Its basin drained,

yet half lit by day

and so full of leaves



Everything coiled; the lists

of things & places & to


& there are captioned

moments, a blank. I sit in front


of fresh-bloom poppies, my

palms warm on a terracotta


path. There is a choir in this

air—how much & too much?


& please, this one thing, this.

There are flashes


& pauses; I sit in front

of a painting. In it, a sheet


stirred to full float, burst-lit

& free. & I’m not empty.


I think: light & weight &

light & light.

Lindsay Tigue poems

Lindsay Tigue is the author of System of Ghosts, which won the Iowa Poetry Prize and was published by University of Iowa Press. Her writing has appeared in Blackbird, Prairie Schooner, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Indiana Review, among other journals. She was the recipient of a Tennessee Williams scholarship to the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a James Merrill fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia, where she received an assistantship at the Georgia Review. 

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