Voice Lessons in a Writing Class
She had forgotten her armor.
Only the wall clock spoke in loud
ticking seconds. She talked context,
her life in short stories, lived
behind veils of addiction, relapse,
and crashed cars. I wondered
if she cared less for poems
and more for razors to sharpen her voice.
In the valley a dirty wind
swirled. If I followed
her to the river
—would she keep her dress,
leave her boots in the reeds, cradle
Rivers speak stories.
I couldn’t hear
what she had left to say.