Legs

Legs

by Mark Halliday

In the last year of my marriage,
among a hundred other symptoms I wrote a poem called
“The Woman across the Shaft”—she was someone
I never met—she had long bare legs
on a summer night when she answered the phone
in her kitchen and lifted her legs to the table
while she talked and laughed and I tried to listen
from my window across an airshaft between buildings
and watched her legs. I doubt she was beautiful
but her legs were young and long
and she laughed on the phone

while I sat in my dark of dissolving faith

and I tried to capture or contain the unknown woman
in a poem: the real and the ideal,
the mess of frayed bonds versus untouched possibility,
so forth. Embarrassed now
I imagine a female editor
who received “The Woman across the Shaft”
as a submission to her magazine—the distaste she felt—
perhaps disgust she felt—I imagine her
grimacing slightly as she considers writing “Pathetic”
on the rejection slip but instead lets the slip stay blank
and then returns to another envelope
from a writer she has learned to trust,
crossing her long legs on her smart literary desk.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s