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 poetry collections include Bestiary Dark (Copper Canyon, 2021), which began with her 2019 Fulbright fellowship in Australia. She has also published four books of essays, including Sing by the Burying Ground (Northwestern, 2024), and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (Indiana University Press, 2011). Among her honors are a Kingsley-Tufts Award, Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and residencies in Budapest, at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, and two national parks, and an earlier Fulbright in Edinburgh.