Nebulous by Elizabeth Martin Solsburg


When you taught me that word,
I thought it was a constellation,
a sweep of stars across the sky,
all the ones you called by name,
chanting them into the night —
Arcturus, Antares, Andromeda
and Sirius, your favorite —
the name you gave your first dog
years ago, when both of you were small,
lying in the dark grass behind the barn,
howling together at these same stars
whose names you can only recall
sometimes, when it’s been a good day,
when you aren’t calling your long-dead
dog to come in out of the cold,
when you point to Pegasus
in the September sky —
when my name is not a nebulous
wisp of fog you cannot hold.


Elizabeth Martin Solsburg is a poet and editor who lives and writes in the Midwest. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan whose poems have appeared in America Magazine, Avalon Review, American Scholar online, The Northern Appalachia Review and others.

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