One Year Removed, Here I Am

M. J. Arlett

Listen, on the hillside a magpie melodies
across the valley for some misplaced flicker of silver

and in the light of this brazen afternoon, 
the spaniel’s black fur could be molten,

the coinage called after by the bird. 
She is mine, tucked into the nest

of my body and I think how everything I left behind
remains suspiciously unchanged.

The clockwork moan of the railway line,
bubble and squeal of the kettle, how the wind

thumbs the grasses away, leaves muddy trails
for us to forage. The spaniel snores in my arms,

folded against my ribs as though months have not passed, 
as though she did not whine like a violin at my return.

I can’t tell her where I went,
why I left for so long,

how I learned a little more about distance,
how it folds and unfolds continuously like the night

towards dawn: so long in the making;
a sudden arrival, then a forgetting of the before.


M. J. Arlett was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in B O D Y, The Boiler, Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere. She will begin her PhD at the University of North Texas in the fall.

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