“Let Me Go, She Said.” by Jimmy Pappas

Jimmy Pappas


Not because she wanted him to let her go.
She wanted to stay on her bed. Not because she
wanted him to remove his arms from around her.
She wanted them to remain. Not because she
wanted him to go away. She wanted him to be there.

But because she wanted him to let her go, just not
to go out the door, not to go away somewhere,
not to travel to some far off land. Just to let
her go, so she said, Let me go. And he let her go.

But he stayed. And he held her until she left.
He set her head down and adjusted her hair,
straightened out her legs, covered her body
because she would not want people to see her.

And he told me two years later how he let her go.
He asked me, Was it okay for me to let her go?
And I said, Oh yes, it was okay for you to let her go.
He wanted to be sure, so he asked me again,
Are you sure? Because I want to let you know
that I let her go. And I said again, Oh it’s okay.
Oh yes, it’s okay. It’s okay. Really. It’s okay. It’s okay.

from Falling off the Empire State Building
2019 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner


Jimmy Pappas: “My Dad told me before he died about a creative idea he had to make ‘mythology cards.’ They would be like baseball cards. He would draw a figure from Greek mythology on one side, and on the back of the card would be a story about the drawing. I realized he was sharing with me an artistic dream of his that he could never do now. I promised him that I would finish my first book of poetry and get it published because that was my artistic dream. We all have in us this godlike desire to create.” (web)


Jimmy Pappas was the guest on episode #34 for the Rattlecast. Click here to watch!

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