Lizabeth Yandel’s poem explores a past relationship through the thick lens of nostalgia. Illustration by Nik Neves
to that starless night,
amid a thick backwood of swamp trees
Owls crooned over
the howled refrain of southern beasts—
coypu rat, alligator, cottonmouth.
under vines and noseeum clouds unnoticed,
fingers enlaced, and trusted
our feet to find dry land, where sleep would wrap us
to that crumbling house
on the coast of Girona—
the sea and its sirens moaning
on black rocks below.
We danced slow
on the veranda, and lay down on cool stone.
Reflected in the sheen of your skin
I saw stars
sling themselves across
a sultry Spanish night.
to that packed wooden club in Amsterdam.
a trumpet’s piercing silver melody. The player arching
with the throe of every note—
sipped in by a hungry crowd. We pressed against
each other while the rhythm
pressed us down.
to the yawning mouth
of that towering mountain
train tunnel. Electric sky blackened and cracking
with storm above.
Tracks switch-backed down
through wild-grass below.
to the cover of a hanging cliff
and held our breath together,
until the sky opened
Undersong is from The Romance Issue – Issue 19. Order your copy here
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