Fall 2005

Sarah J. Gardner


Sarah J Gardner This marks an author's first online publication Sarah J. Gardner, a native Midwesterner, has since lived in Scotland, New York, and now Texas. Her poetry has recently appeared in Cranky Literary Journal and is forthcoming in Runes and the North American Review. For more, visit
Our Last Day    Click to hear in real audio

Together. There is lunch and there is dinner, and boxes
    loaded in the car. A few hours of little
said. Sandwiches, both meals.

        We could be any two. This, any parting�except,
        except, except.

        What I want to say is,
        what I want you to hear,
        what is it?

The cat curls in an isosceles plot of sun, unaware.
Tomorrow he will rest in a footwell. A day later,
a different apartment, another town.
            What does it matter to him?

But you will have to finish the chair
        I had meant to reupholster.
It sits bleeding cotton-fill in the den�

    and the bush, the burning bush out the window,
you must dig it up�all summer
         finger-swift beetles have tatted the leaves.
Come winter, it won't survive.

        (You will do this, all, alone. What I want to say is not alone,
        is its opposite. But I want, also, truth.)

I know I would not, for all I love you, have my thumbprint
    whorl into yours, a perfect match. Still I draw back

from our embrace, close my eyes and count
        my many pulses: ankle, abdomen, throat�all saying,
    Systolic: stay.
    Diastolic: just.



Sarah J. Gardner: Poetry
Copyright © 2005 The Cortland Review Issue 30The Cortland Review