Red Coat

The years fly by — how many have said that
but you’re living it now
This red winter coat you’ve dragged from the closet
has had another life on the fridge. Where were
we? How old were they? She answers:
Peter’s, Oregon. Ten and six
And now you explore the hidden pockets and come up
with a City Guide (in English) you picked up in Amsterdam.
Why did I keep that? Where were we going? But she’s
not there to answer
You easily get on. Seat 12A and you have the row
to yourself
The wipe they gave you is like a puzzle
to open
Airplane mode. But you can still ping-pong
between Herbert (poetry) and Coetzee
You open the shade but close it again: the only view
is a wing and tarmac

When you open the shade a second time (you fell asleep
during takeoff), your eyes scan a patchwork of browns
and blacks until they find the matte gray braids
of the Platte

About the author

R L Swihart was born in Michigan but now resides in Long Beach CA. (He just completed a “road trip” — from Long Beach…

Read the full bio

Issue 24 · Autumn 2021

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