On the Metro Thinking
Blue Lace
by Lyn Lifshin

the past, a semi barreling
down as the train pulls
from Vienna and I reread
“blue lace” in an interview.
Quietest. It slams back
nights I thought about in
a film where I pull the blue
flimsy cloth from a bag,
what I do in workshops. It
was all that was left of
the bolt I folded in a note
with enough left unsaid
the man I wore other pale
lace for could imagine
all he wanted. Isn’t that
what poems do? That
what isn’t tries to dissolve?  

by Lyn Lifshin

like looking back on
what’s over, the flaws
dissolve and the lover
or mother is better,
best pulling away. I
don’t wait for the call
that didn’t, or the after
noons, 5 AMs he
didn’t show. Smaller,
like the willow, hardly
yellowing in the cold,
still on the verge of
happening. Farther
back, a plump girl in
a green check dress,
never my best color,
running thru the hall
way and breaking her
thumb on the wall,
Valentine’s Day,
dreaming of being thin
and blond and not
wearing glasses or the
clunky cast, the last
thing she needs for a
party. Her clothes
as like mine as the
mouth on my velvet
quilt that smells of the
closed house like
letters forwarded
from there days later
when I open them

by Lyn Lifshin

It’s easier on a
mailing list, one
touch and there
isn’t even a ghost,
a name under a
line, still there yet
not there. Some
are better than they
were: the one
who never showed
tho I stood in pale
silk waiting, no
longer threatens
to tear me apart,
safely tucked in his
last bed. I get to
imagine his fingers,
not panic that he
won’t call, my head
no longer dazed
by wine coolers. The
one I couldn’t
marry, closer to my
mother’s age than
mine, will never
write a bad review,
grow so old I can’t
imagine I could
have opened every
thing to him

by Lyn Lifshin

Sometimes the dead are too loud,
wanting you to still call out their name,
using up the whole answering machine.
They howl in a blue note, bice blue,
bitten blue. You can’t just leave them
wine at night, strands of hair they
can’t touch. They’re torn up, wait
for the roots of trees to coil
around their fingers. You can’t
tuck them in like a pale child or roses

Lyn Lifshin’s poems are continued on the next page.  

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 1, Number 2
(Fall 2006)

Copyright © 2006
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

Getting to Feel the Light
I Walked Thru When the
Metro Pulls Away
Deleting the Dead
Thinking of the Lover
Singing Underground