Wednesday, April 16, 2014
a poem by sarah dohrmann
Whether Love is Parallel or Perpendicular
Straight lines. Road that goes and does not cease. Road that
asks, "Where to?" Road that sees, and wide. Road made of
asphalt, road of tar and fumes, road of man's hands and women's
knees. Road that came upon you in a dream. Those lines,
those lines man, they came to you in the night like a heat
like a fever like a milky-eyed troll looking for you. A troll
that knew your number, love.
This road is not the hi the hello the how are you the what
did you have in mind for tonight. It is not, even, the ask me
anything you want, anything you want, just ask. The goodbye
was not the savagery. It was this road that goes nowhere and
its lines. Nothing but our breath on this road, our selves of
meat and gristle, and our lines, lines, lines.
You won't forget the tight jeans, the hole in the wall
staring you down. It is clear now that love is not
the road we sowed. Love is this road, this plain
and potted road, our lines, my continuous yes
to your dumb dog darkness, and the day
break after, fading
in the rearview.
Nothing but children on this road, too little to fix a flat.
Sarah Dohrmann is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has been a Fulbright fellow (Morocco), a New York Foundation for the Arts' fellow of Nonfiction Literature, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study grantee for Literature, and is currently a Workspace writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Sarah was co-recipient, with photographer Tiana Markova-Gold, of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their joint project on women and prostitution in Morocco; their collaboration, which includes a long-form essay by Dohrmann and images by Markova-Gold, is forthcoming in Harper's Magazine. Sarah's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, TIME, LightBox, British Journal of Photography, Joyland Magazine, LUMINA Journal, Some Call it Ballin', Teachers & Writers Magazine, and Bad Idea (England), among others. She is currently at work on a book of creative nonfiction called Point of Departure.