It’s not the you in Kansas that’s always ahead of me
or calling me out on my bullshit.
It’s the you that just ran past my window,
slinking low to stay out of sight,
only looking back once
to see if anyone’s watching before
disappearing like rain into the street
drain.Or, the you, in your old age, that caught
a view of my barely-there underwear
presented by the wind, a gift timidly given.
Another you figured out she doesn’t want
her husband, but to live
alone, drink, and finish the novel
about the boy with the birthmark
who had too much to drink and sat
upside down on the sofa until
there was no difference
between birthmark and skin. A color
that kept changing like forgotten
Eastereggs in white coffee mugs.
No like you who calls me
from a deep sleep in the middle
of the night. Arms stretched, you reach
for me and I for you until you becomes me
with no space in between, just breath.
~ Julie Ramon
Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, guest editor for Dec., is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, author or editor of 19 books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. More on her here.