“Looking In” by Sharry Wright

Sharry Wright


We live inside a house of many windows
where strangers walking by can see
our life of scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes,
of crossword puzzles and the empty nest
that is my hair. They watch us eating artichokes,
scraping bits of flesh from the base of the leaf
with our bottom teeth, the empty bowl
filling up with what remains. The trick,
my father told me before dying, is to keep on
breathing, and he did until the tumor
in his lung squeezed his heart wide open.
I think of all the lost hours of my life,
pockets full of maps I’ve drawn
on napkins; all the places that I meant to go,
forgotten in the closet. No one wants
to be a ghost, to wander in a world where
no one sees you. I tell myself that walking
barefoot is a kind of prayer, feet to earth,
breathing, lungs to air, even better, in the rain,
water on your skin. At night, we light a candle
so the strangers can still see us in the dark.

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020
Students of Kim Addonizio


Sharry Wright: “I first read a review of Kim Addonizio’s Mortal Trash in the San Francisco Chronicle and immediately walked down to City Lights Bookstore to buy a copy, which I devoured and then went online to see what else I could find out about her. When I realized that she lived in Oakland, just across the Bay, and held workshops in her home, I could hardly believe my good fortune! I applied for the next workshop in the fall of 2016 and felt like I’d found the mentor that I’d been longing for, someone to help me find my voice. Kim’s feedback is so precise and perceptive; she is always able to immediately highlight what is working in a poem and to zoom in on where it has gone off track, yet she leaves plenty of room for the student/poet to keep their work uniquely their own. Plus her brilliant weekly prompts never fail to inspire something interesting.” (web)

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