by Karin Gottshall
Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sister at the café—
even though I have no sister—just because it’s such
a beautiful thing to say. I’ve always thought so, ever since
I read a novel in which two sisters were constantly meeting
in cafés. Today, for example, I walked alone
on the wet sidewalk, wearing my rain boots, expecting
someone might ask where I was headed. I bought
a steno pad and a watch battery, the store windows
fogged up. Rain in April is a kind of promise, and it costs
nothing. I carried a bag of books to the café and ordered
tea. I like a place that’s lit by lamps. I like a place
where you can hear people talk about small things,
like the difference between azure and cerulean,
and the price of tulips. It’s going down. I watched
someone who could be my sister walk in, shaking the rain
from her hair. I thought, even now florists are filling
their coolers with tulips, five dollars a bundle. All over
the city there are sisters. Any one of them could be mine.
About the Author:
Karin Gottshall is a poet, fiction writer, and creative writing instructor. Her book, Crocus, was published by Fordham University Press in 2007 and a chapbook, Flood Letters, came out in 2011 from Argos Books. Recent poems have appeared in FIELD, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, West Branch, Mid-American Review and others.
American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Karin Gottshall, whose most recent book of poetry is Crocus. Poem reprinted from the New Ohio Review, No. 8, Fall 2010, by permission of Karin Gottshall and the publisher.