February 2000

Melissa Hotchkiss


Melissa Hotchkiss Melissa Hotchkiss is co-director of the Barrow Street Reading Series and is on the editorial board of the poetry journal Barrow Street. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Marlboro Review and Four Way Reader #2. She lives in NYC. 

The Gnaw and Echo of the Aircraft    Click to hear in real audio

Gnaw and echo of the aircraft long in my ear
After your departure
The airport, sick ward

Wheelchairs empty in the corner
The doors whoosh to each side under the red exit sign

I am entering winter and know the tired ride home
The curves in the road, the pothole past the fat tin mailbox
Eight miles away

You are already gone

And I am what they call strong
I am what
They call competent

But nothing seems enough to stop the clinging to this body
You do so well in it definitive morning even not wanting kisses

What is it—the dream about the pearls
Recurring, bearing round gifts
Wrapped in strands
I do not remember how it unraveled

White, pure, falling
Uncontrollably falling
As if it were me
A child who might yank a necklace
From its mother’s breast

Taking what is already taken
As if it were me who could turn such a poison into stone




Melissa Hotchkiss: Poetry
Copyright 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 10The Cortland Review