Here is a photo of me

Reenacting a photo of you

Reenacting a photo of your father

At Patchin Place, NYC.

e. e. cummings is great but

I was a fan of you and your writing

And of you.


You had sticks of gum

In the small pocket

Of your rolled up jeans

And cool red shades

That broke in my bag

In Carolina

Where I kissed you for the last time


At the bus stop

Early in the morning.


A plane flies overhead

And I remember you

Standing in the airport

In your checkered shirt

In 3D

You had something in your teeth

You were perfect.


You have a beard now,

My hair is long.

It has been a while but

I still can’t listen to Abbey Road

And I make tea for one

With my kettle on the hob.


This place

Was alive and warm then

Now it is dead and cold

But Spring is coming,

So they tell me.

I pray you are as happy now

As I was then

With you

At Patchin Place.


The bodies of these strangers who find their way into my bed cannot erase your shadow. Like ghosts they become surrounding me, caressing me, lips like feathers on my skin, yet I only feel the light breezes from my window. I stare at twinkling lights across the bay. I stare into the atmosphere at nothing. Your shadow is what I search for in the moon, my eyes unblinking. The ghosts grab at my body; they live yet I can't feel them. You live yet I can only feel your shadow still. I live yet I am dead in the memory of our dancing shadows across the floorboards of my room, barely still dancing behind my eyelids as I pretend to sleep. Ghosts dance around my body but I don't join them.


It's not a break

We are breaking.

You are like giving up smoking,

I am having withdrawals

when I catch your eye

and forget.

It wasn't always bad,

drive-ins under feathers

and the hood of your car,

day drinking in Rhode Island

and sleeping in borrowed beds,

concerts with near death experiences

and fast food late nights,

Christmas and struffoli

and drunken family gatherings,

riddles for hours

and long distance phone calls.

What are you doing right now?

Two trains and a taxi wastes

this separate space.

Seven years bad luck,

fuck I miss chlorine soaked summer skin

and long Laroe drives

asleep at the wheel.

LAST. | JUNE 2013

It only took one phone call. I was leaning out my 4th story window with a river running from my face wanting to follow the drops as they hit the concrete. That was the last time you said my name and now I can't remember how you said it but I can still remember the smell of your skin. You went off to marry your southern sweetheart like we joked you would while I was left chasing your ghost down the streets of New York we walked down together when you visited me that summer. And I will never forget your electric current pumping through my veins nor the sound of your laugh rumbling through the caverns of my eardrums like a medley of Jamaican drums, but I wish I hadn't forgotten the sound of your voice the last time that you said my name.


You are a heavy secret

burden on my brain

and in my heart

where no one knows

you ever were before.

Life has gone on

and so have I

but your name is

still in my every day

and I can see you

more closely now.

After this long absence

does my name ever

make you wonder

what I'm doing

and what I've done?

Or am I nothing but

a faded lined letter

hidden in your room

dated back two years

sealed with a lipstick kiss?


I'm not your fabergé egg from the Tsar;

out of my broken pieces I rearrange

myself again into a masterpiece -

a mosaic of razor sharp colors,

a stained glass window that reflects

all the speckles in your eyes.

You did not destroy me

with your promises of love and leaving;

I am not your fragile yellow bird.

My wings rest upon

an iron-dipped skeleton,

braced for flight or fight or love.

No longer can you lock me in;

you don't know what beats within my heart



i swam all night
in the Great Lakes
on your chest
with my eyes closed,
your hands on my breasts.

you pulled me under
with notes so sweet
in my ears;
held my breath
as you finished singing.

paper-thin walls,
you're deep within
my inside skin
where i keep
secrets hidden still.

your room is cold
like a small tomb;
i'm awake
while you laugh
in your dreams quietly.

All poetry written by Liz Maney © 2012-2015