By Marsha Pomerantz

Along a lilac hedge one May I try to kill the narrator in my throat. Do in, undo, cut blood supply to verbs, bat nouns into the ether. To inhale the day. Narrator puts two and two together as if the world has a need for four. I walk on blacktop bits rolled flat, heel-toe, heel-toe. Telling what?

How a dog bounds out of a house after me, down the road, bounding dog licks my eyes, laughing to the beach, and a man says What a lovely beast as the dog’s laughter lingers. What’s his name? I grin a proprietary grin, narrator has secured the day, and say Banjo but my husband calls him Bradley.

I take my story down the steep beach, cast words into waves and stand as tide pulls earth from beneath my feet: what Banjo, what Bradley, what husband. Climb back up, dog alongside, back on blacktop bits rolled flat. Stoop to inspect a low flower artfully puffed like boiled shrimp and the dog bounds back up the steps of his home. I walk on past the lilacs and recount: feet meet ground, bones uphold, two minus one minus one.


About the Author

Marsha Pomerantz is the author of poems and essays, and a sometime translator from Hebrew. Work has appeared in Harvard ReviewPN ReviewRaritanSalamanderBest American Essays 2016.  More at Photo/text experiment at

Image Rights

Detail from Kenneth Moyle: Lilac Time, 2010 (CC).

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