Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Ithaca — Amanda Moore

I know little of weaving

but that I can pull together these strings of loneliness

and fashion some sort of shroud

to drape across my empty shelves.

The hills cradle my house and my half-empty bed, but

I am no more a fixed point than love.

What is there in a landscape that says settle:

break open this earth? Some man

walked these hills with his one book,

tore names from each page:

Homer, Troy, Ithaca. He couldn’t have imagined

it would one day become

communes, trailer parks, gun shops,

the crazy, the poor, the free.

But he was right about one thing:

people will wait a long time for a hero.

At night in bed I am unraveling.

They’ve built a highway outside my window.

Headlights all night trace my blank wall.

The moon is a wide-open O of pleasure.

My neighbors are making love.

There is inertia in patience.

I cannot expect to find him in my bed some night

pulling cobwebs from my hair.

I’m the one with a map.

My speedometer has a wise old face.

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