A Woman About A Poem by Mark J. Mitchell

For JJ

I dreamt a poem.

Words outlined a space,
almost erased, in the shape of her body.
Letters dangled—L, C, B, then Z, S, D—
showing where her ears might be.
Periods were only symbols of her eyes.

Time, like music, flowed
and shapes grew. Then ebbed.
Then staffs struggled to hold the dotted notes
of her form in empty longitude. Coves vanish,
harbors expand. Her beauty only
swells and too eager words
cannot plot her place on a chart.

I wake to the blank page
of empty sheets, scentless.
I wait—not patiently—for her
to travel home across
that flat, unfolded map.

Mark J. Mitchell
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and a new novel is forthcoming: The Magic War (Loose Leaves Publishing). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.
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