;

The number of nights I’ve spent alone crowd
the grass like fallen green apples. They are years
spotted, bruised, and wasting. Not a spell or a season,
 
but a lifetime—a good life with a brick house,
libraries, a surprise party for my thirty-third
birthday, leather boots, Fela Kuti, and mercy dressed
 
in my mother’s terry cloth robe. I forget
the three meals I’ve eaten most days. Another
hunger gnaws at my restlessness.
 
Beside you, I am a ring or a moon, or you
are a ring or a moon. Or we are one planet
with moonlike names for the places our bodies
 
have yet to touch: Sea of Clouds, Sea of Ex-loves,
Sea of Rib Cage, Sea of Seas of Patience, Sea of Long
Islands, Sea of Ohio, Sea that has Become Known.
 
Awake, I recall the choreography—my arm
numb, turning to one side. Last night
you dreamt of saddled horses from a carousel
 
gorging on autumn apples. You say there was plenty,
and I believe you. I make my body a long neck
to reach for your face. The first time we kissed
 
was on a street corner waiting for the light
to change. We stepped from the curb
and rowed the air with our sleek bones,
 
the bones you hold me with now
in the almost-dawn. Inches from us
in a puddle on the floor is a flannel shirt—
 
the one she said brought out your eyes.
A touch is enough to let me know
you have not forgotten her. Forgiven her.
 
 

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About Ama Codjoe

Ama Codjoe
Ama Codjoe was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, with roots in Memphis and Accra. She has received support from the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cave Canem Foundation, and Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. Ama is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She received the Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellowship from the Creative Writing department at New York University, where she is Poetry Co-editor for the Washington Square Review.