“Blizzard,” oil on canvas, by Leona Bierkowska, 1897.

by Molly Lanzarotta

The lover who decides to stay
understands—like you, standing too close on the train—
it’s all about the distance we keep, or give away.

At the roadside shrine the cash machine’s eyes
spy our indulgences, our withdrawals and confessions.
Masking-up becomes escape into disguise.

We say to the faith healer—there are some situations
a cure cannot mend. We say to the traveler—
take care, transience can become transformation.

From a plane, you glimpse fireworks from the top;
like dandelions, they blow and spread. Like near-death,
illuminated, you wonder where it stops.

How long do you allow, to catalogue loss?
How long will you wait, to do what comes next?
You climb up from the rut, spit out the dirt, and plant what it costs.

omega man

Molly Lanzarotta’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, The Vestal Review, Cimarron Review, Carolina Quarterly, Southeast Review, and in the books Brevity and Echo and What If?