I Get to Float Invisible

Someone’s sister in Europe writing her

adultery poems late night, half bottle 

of wine pretty much required. 

 

And they’re good, they really are— 

 

The things one hears in an elevator. 

Perfect strangers. I’ve always loved 

the perfect part, as if news of the world is

 

a matter of pitch, and pure. 

 

Maybe the desire of others only 

simplifies me, seems generous that way. 

It’s the distance, an intimacy 

 

so far from here I get to float invisible 

all over, over again like I never 

lived this life. What could be 

 

lonelier, more full of 

 

mute ringing than what 

she’s writing. That, 

and the wine. Thus we pass the minutes, 

 

ground to five, then six. And the door opens 

 

because someone else pressed 

the button first. 

All along, dark and light 

 

take turns falling to earth. 

And the sister

having sipped from a glass 

 

and left behind such small shocks 

 

is no doubt 

asleep by now. I forget, given 

the time change.

 

Marianne Boruch’s ninth poetry collection, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (Copper Canyon Press), was cited as a “Most Loved Book of 2016” by the New Yorker. Copper Canyon also brought out her Cadaver, Speak (2014) and The Book of Hours (2011), a Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award winner. Her three essay collections include The Little Death of Self (2017) in the University of Michigan’s “Poets on Poetry” series. A past Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio fellow, Boruch was a 2012 Fulbright Professor in Edinburgh. She teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA Program at Warren Wilson College.