Martina Reisz Newberry

Air Travel

When you decided we would no longer 
be “Us,” I was cool. I smiled, no tears, 
no scenes.I was good. We hugged and I said, 
“Be well and safe. Hope your dreams come true.” 

You asked, “And now 
what will you do?”

I said, “My desire is to be 
illicit, wicked, a little 
fearsome.” 

He laughed, No, he said, that won’t be 
you.  You will spend your years as an 
addict. You get high on shame. You’ll 
never need heroin; your guilt 
is even better because it’s 
legal. You’ll nod the hours away 
with it burning in your veins. You 
are the center of your own wheel, 
my girl, spokes radiating to 
touch each error, every regret, 
all sins—mortal and venial.

I thought back to an airplane trip:
Secured in my seat, surprised by
my lover–cleverly disguised,
pleased with himself at my wonder.
I waved goodbye to my husband
and children as we wheeled down the 
concrete heading for somewhere in
Vermont.The sin of it blooming
much later, many years later.

Residency

Armed with sprigs of thyme,*
out of my comfort zone and
 
way out of  my depth—
all those names electrified,

charged with praise, awards, 
and knowing...shall we say a
 
mansion and 400 
acres crowded–if you get
 
my meaning–with huge 
spirits and gods slam dancing
 
through faux elegant 
meals where it was important 

to know which table 
to join.  A gift, this stay at 

a poet’s place...like 
the gift a parent gives when
 
delivering stern 
discipline. Oh mansion and
 
cottages, daunting,
prestigious, powerful...the
 
sweetest soul there was 
a gardener who showed me 
how to operate a backhoe. 
After which, my poems soared.
 

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