Emily in San Fransisco


I fork supper alone,
staring out past the diner window
at sea-salted X Avenue.

The sun begins to bow. A gent-
rified bodega flares pink
as rare filet in the sunset.

On the corner, two Hapas
touch ring fingers and fly away
like gruff seagulls.

I would catch them
if I were young.
I would cajole them into kissing.

But there is a beetle in me.
So instead I attend to rites.
I reach for an open jar

of peach preserves. Today is
a juicier Ash Wednesday.
With blushing orange,

I give myself a saccharine cross.
I lick the sacred from my pointer and sigh.
My time is at last synched

with an expiration date
on an expiration sticker
that cannot be removed.


Holly Mitchell is an MFA candidate at New York University and an assistant awards editor for Washington Square Review. Her poems have appeared in Washington Square Review, Ishaan Literary Review, Split Quarterly, The Bakery, and TRANSOM. In 2012, she received a Gertrude Claytor Prize from Mount Holyoke College and the Academy of American Poets.