Hamartia

by Jordan Williams

I didn’t mean to, but I wrote this for you —
what started as a reflection on my town
the way people here are white and laced
scared of things without functionality
cars without those seats that fold down
like mechanical origami, the way they are
not moved by the smell of old books
or drawn to a clear view of the horizon,
turned instead to a line of thinking I thought
I had overcome several months ago now.
I am here to tell you I have relapsed
and my sobriety is on a vacation south
of me, and certainly of you up there in Erie.
Let me start again — I was watching the rain
and thinking about all of the metaphors
found in the wingspan of a floral umbrella
how it proclaims to everyone on main street
the carrier needs help getting through the day
and I ended up in the bar where you took me
on that March Sunday before lunch, desperate
for a beer, where I sat watching you try
to catch a metal ring on a metal hook
over and over until your glass was empty.

The end of the story was that you took me home
and asked me to sing for you, which I did.
The point of the story is that I told everyone
I needed you and you showed everyone else
how powerful you were by leaving me
on the table, fingerprints all over my glaze
shining, holding down your green cotton tip.

 

Artist: Early Worm

Jordan Williams is an emerging poet who explores everyday life through metaphor and ambiguity. Her pieces examine the connection between people, manifest in togetherness or separation. She enjoys poetry that invites the reader on a journey that begins one place and ends somewhere else, especially emotionally.

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