Tonight we’re at the Alternative Library!
1417 Railroad Avenue (next door to Casa Que Pasa)
Bellingham, WA 98227-9719
http://altlib.org/ :: (360) 312-4287
Doors and sign-up at 7:30pm. Poetry begins at 8:00pm sharp!
Bring poetry and feel free to sign up to read it!
Tonight’s host is Erica Reed
Tonight’s featured poet is Lauren Gilmore
Free to the public, but we do pass a jar around to collect donations to help pay for things like visiting poets and the occasional publication.
Learn more about tonight’s feature and our other projects at http://poetrynight.org
Lauren Gilmore lives in Spokane, WA. Her work has appeared in Riverlit, The Wire Harp, and is forthcoming in Seattle’s Floating Bridge Review #7. In 2013, she became the youngest poet to win Spokane Poetry Slam’s yearly Grand Slam, qualifying her for both the national and world poetry slams. Though sidelined due to age restrictions, she traveled with the team to nationals, acting as a coach, and was a spotlighted performer on the Individual World Poetry Slam finals stage later that year. She is the 2014 recipient of the Richard Baldasty Award for poetry. She writes poems, stories, love letters, and an excessive amount of question marks.
LAST PACK OF CIGARETTES
If springtime ever breaks over Browne’s addition
and thaws the sleet and snow from those streets
lined with mansions the city refurbished
and divided to rent out as apartments
you occupied at various points in your life,
an exposed pack of cigarettes
will sit on the pavement.
Maybe a squirrel will appear then
and nibble through the packaging.
Get sick from so much manmade poison
—die, even. Then we would have to bury
the squirrel next to your ashes.
Next winter, the snow would cover you
both, everything coming full circle.
The squirrel won’t know
that was supposed to have been
your very last pack.
It won’t remember me in cloud print pajamas
racing down the block, inhaling icicles, snow boots
with no socks, hair stringy and stuck to my face
after you said to bury them
somewhere you’d never find.
Or how my hands turned pink and raw
from digging through ice.
It won’t know about us at all.
We will try to convince ourselves
we are bigger
than the squirrel.
We will act as though we are not
just as small, just as alone.
Memories get heavier the day we realize
we are the only ones still trying to lift them.