Shannon RankinOne Heart (map, thread, paper)

Along the edge of the park
a girl is running barefoot
at the top of a ledge, the girl is four
or five, the ledge is six inches wide
she’s moving fast, the trees are rising behind her
like dense green thunderheads
on each side of her pigeons
burble and brake, pedaling backward
in air she runs
past the screech of the occupied sandlot,
the voices split open, distorted in heat, she pulls
past the ice cream truck struck to a white metal blaze,
the screak and crawl of the street, the sun
is warming the limestone she runs on, the wind
is lapping the grit from her body,
and the flanks of the truck flicker heatless and dumb
as the televised blitz of a city.
The meters are flashing their blank
exhortations, the sun is pitched
like a snare, beating time.
Don’t speak to her.
If she keeps her eyes on the stone
she can run this way
for a long time.


Jessica Nordell


This poem selected for Best New Poets 2015!