Jane Adair: Coda to a Marriage

Jane Adair: Coda to a Marriage

How it can sound when a 21-year marriage begins to end…

Vox Populi

This room with its complaining floorboards,
rushing spigots, soft latch of doors,
the blackness of dawn before dawn

with its sharps and flats, a discordant
jay’s first recitative of the day – let
it be defined by disappearance.

This poem would like to report a vanishing,
a woman last seen rising from a chalk
outline of herself, a song escaping

from her throat and winging into black –
notes written on the night sky like stars
uncharted. Her sound is a sound that falls

between the staves of treble and bass.
This is not to imply that she is alone.
The moon silvers her walk. A scarf, on loan,

circles her neck. The man who walks beside her,
unfamiliar. What more is there to hear?
The moon’s dial made its predictable click

from wax to wane, the birds went diminuendo.
The grass surrendered its green. By what accord?
On whose…

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Jane Adair: Soundtrack

Jane Adair: Soundtrack

Vox Populi

Because I was twenty
and in a hurry for the next stage to begin

I’d driven all night to see
the ocean. I was in love
with the young man at the wheel,

the way his chestnut chest hairs swirled
like an animal had bedded there.
I loved the arch of his slender

feet, his fingers with the half-moons under
the nail beds. I slept through
the Appalachians, unbent my legs

in Georgia and woke to a weak Florida sun
filtered through haze, a monochrome
dawn, a turnpike empty and white

as sky. I thought it clever
when he said clear was a color:
the color of everything

that couldn’t be seen.

I imagine that nutria were bobbing
in their brackish dens as
we powered past
roadside weeds sparkling with dew,

taking turns at the wheel in the car he’d dubbed gray shark. Hungry and wide, it plied
the fog…

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