The 2River View 27.2 (Winter 2023)

Gail Hosking

The Art of a Would-Be-Anniversary: When Glue Won’t Stick

Just last night—you’d never guess—
I cut a picture of us down the middle,
glued you on one side of the paper,
me the other, then drew a circle
around each to prove we’re not
in the same universe anymore.

It didn’t seem like a strong enough border
so I took out a red crayon and made another
circle, finally needing black paint
to demonstrate a boundary. I used
my expensive pastels bought for this
serious work of understanding,
keeping the finished product on the table
for days like one might need to recall
a dream that keeps fading. Like standing
at the end of a movie as the lights return
and someone filters through the popcorn
searching for a lost ring.

Wife Writes Husband a Final Letter

It is time to give up the language
of your side of the bed and what time
will you be home for dinner. The words
sit inside a chrysalis now
into clear gel, a sheltered state of before
and after. Metamorphosis:
It’s a predictable science.

Union’s history is life’s archive: invisible
ink written on bodies. A story of sky
and leaf changing. The risks of uncertainty.
Once nothing else mattered but
our caterpillar lives. Now, segment
by waving segment, we must find our way
through dissolving tissues, trust this amorphous
mess, each spin around a silken case.

We are as young as we will ever be.

Gail Hosking is the author of Snake’s Daughter (U of Iowa Press) and Retrieval (Main Street Rag Press). Her essays and poems have appeared in journals such as Post Road and South Dakota Review. website

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