Equivalents

M. A. Bowersock

1

 

In Stieglitz’s little photographs, sunlight

oozes through scraps of cloud. Dark

presses against light; the spaces wobble

between positive and negative.

 

Two surfaces lie against each other. Ocean

against sky. Belly against back.

This world and the other. The two sides

of a sutured wound.

 

 

 

2

 

In the museum, I asked my friend

if he thought I would ever own a house. I used to ask him

everything, like asking a well, because I thought

he knew everything that would happen to me. I never asked,

which is cover for which? Do we drive up I-91 in the dead of night

so when someone asks what’s new, we can pull out a story

about the rainstorm, the crazy guy at the gas station,

and not have to talk about the ideas we're hung up on?

 

My friend and I never really touched each other,

just our two blank skins, and oh the ideas it gave me.

Picture the long line from Washington clear over to Minnesota.

Our border was just like that,

and just as playable.

Plunk, plunk, plunk.

M.A. Bowersock’s writing has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Boston Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review, among other publications. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Michigan and currently works as a lawyer in a solo practice in eastern Idaho.