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Sunday, January 17, 2021


by Susan Vespoli

I’ve been thinking about the Hopi Prophecy as told to me
by a friend, how we would find ourselves in a rushing river,
our body a soggy vessel careening toward the unknown. And the Hopi 
instruction was to notice who traveled beside us, not to flail 

or cling to the shore, but to trust the water. I’ve been thinking 
about the deep bass voice and compelling smell of an armpit, a man 
who sang lyrics into my ear, leaned around me as I washed a pan, 
crooned, I just can’t live without you, sister golden hair surprise, 

how he vanished with that torso he’d spooned around me, 
strapped into his own life vest, his SUV growing smaller 
as it exited the street in front of my house where I’ve stayed 
mostly alone since March, and how the ones who’ve held 

my hand and head above water have done so through Zoom
screens or contained in chiweenie fur or while flouncing 
around the living room in a size 6x little girl’s net skirt. How comfort 
has come via iPhones on speaker, text boxes, Words with Friends 

app chats, or from the masked employees at Jiffy Lube, 
a uniformed ballet of them who unscrew, drain, pour fluid, 
bow, you’re welcome, smile with eyes, say, you’re okay now,
reset the Need Maintenance light that flashed on my dash.

Susan Vespoli has been holed for almost a year in Phoenix, where she's written poetry, led writing circles on Zoom for, ridden her bike, and walked her dogs. Her work has been published in The New Verse News, Rattle, Nasty Women Poets Anthology, Mom Egg Review, Nailed Magazine, and others.