In Which I Play the Part of Myself
For a long time, I imagined what others
saw when they looked at me:
a kettle cooling on the counter, limescale
rising to the surface, the dried-out
lawn of summer. No telephone rang,
yet words were always spoken,
my hands a front door I opened and closed
to the empty hallways of other lives.
Sometimes, I kept a steady pace
behind them in the road, the sound
of cars crashing proving like dough
echoing inside an oven.
Always, I swept the glass in piles
beside my ankles. I counted
each piece as it sifted through my hands.
At night, I carved a shore
to sleep on. I mapped the unmade bed
I discovered within myself.
Copyright (c) 2017 by Kerri French. All rights reserved. Kerri French is the author of Every Room in the Body (Moon City Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Moon City Poetry Award, and Instruments of Summer (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), a chapbook of poems about the life of Amy Winehouse. Her poetry has appeared in Washington Square Review, Mid-American Review, and Best New Poets, among others. A North Carolina native, she lives outside Nashville.