By Anne Persons


When I stare out of my apartment window,
I see a city of lights.
insect-like, I am transfixed. But it is
just the library, windows lit with

the fluorescence of hordes of lamps, and the
movement of moth people flitting by,
brushing wings, leaving trails of dust.

What sweet darkness disappears?
Why do we leave our lights on,
illuminating only what is around us,
eyes becoming emptier…

When I look into my own eyes, and blink against
my soul’s brightness, I wonder
why I am here, wings folded, staring out of windows.


The physical therapist drums his fingers annoyingly against the tiny checkmarks of my twin knee scars. They are permanent and uneven, though I pretend it doesn’t bother me.

“Step as though on a tightrope.” He commands. He explains “femoral anteversion,” a condition common in women, making my thighs sway inward: I am more prone to injury.

“One more thing,” he says, as I turn to leave. “Walk only in straight lines. No pivoting or weird turns. That’s the worst thing you could do for your knees right now.”

Driving through Buckhead, I ease my foot gently left to speed by clusters of jogging moms, their pendulum ponytails swaying like perky reminders. No pivots.

Later, shackles of pain remind me of my carved -out joints. I hobble to the bathroom; my trail makes 90’ angles against picture-plastered walls: catalog of a smiling prisoner.

No pivoting, I think, easing into bed. No surprises. I hide the smoldering poetry book with its tendrils of smoke under a throw pillow, a jail with pastel-striped bars.

No pivoting, I think, turning off the light. Tell me something I don’t know. A life of straight lines. As the pain fills in my body’s grids, though, I wonder about curves.