The Boiler

Laura Cesarco Eglin

WHETHER

I wonder if I’ll recognize years from now
when snow stops falling in different shapes
and the mountains are not in my window
the strokes of black and brown
paint as the barks I’d hear from that house.
If I’d written the dogs’ names I might have
had a dozen words, but I wrote their sound
and filled twelve pages in a week. Four
letters for each open mouth. Will the gray
skies recount the days I had to turn on
the lights when I got up and keep them
on until it was darker and I’d finished
playing lighthouse? What colors will
the strokes have for the branches I made
sure to stock up each day? Eucalyptus
nuts I would throw into the fire like
the tea bag in the pot. A taste from outside.
I doubt the painting will have the right
colors for waiting to hear the sea. To have it
with me. A canvas is not long enough
to last seven days.

MIDDLE IS NOT HALF

Years of not seeing you allowed your face
to escape me. But there are things
I still know and don’t need
to remember. Your middle name
hangs together with that medallion
from the necklace that ends in the middle
of your chest. Making sense is best in twos.

Middles are important but not your navel.
That, I want to forget, and I can.
From the middle you can still look back
and forward is a matter of deciding
what the horizon is.

Your middle name that hides
from everyday life participates
only as a reminder on your chest.
The remainder of an I-told-you-so.

Nostalgia is at its most powerful
when it is about anticipation too.

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Laura Cesarco Eglin
is the author of two collections of poetry, Llamar al agua por su nombre (Mouthfeel Press, 2010) and Sastrería (Yaugurú, 2011), and a chapbook of poems, Tailor Shop: Threads (Finishing Line Press, 2013), co-translated into English with Teresa Williams. Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Modern Poetry in Translation, MiPOesias, Puerto del Sol, The Acentos Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Timber, Pilgrimage, Periódico de Poesía, and Metrópolis. Her poems are also featured in the Uruguayan women’s section of Palabras Errantes, Plusamérica. Her poetry will appear in América invertida: An Anthology of Younger Uruguayan Poets (Ed. Jesse Lee Kercheval) forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press in 2015.