Erin Elizabeth Smith

Dear Nora,


There is something startling

about the sun, the kicked light

like the flare in a girl’s skirt,

a lucky cat in ceaseless wave.

The sky here is inkblot blue,

a stain that bleeds

to each tumbled horizon.


You would hate it.


The flatland stripmalls,

banana-colored beer.

How wind twists dresses

like umbrellas. I think of you

when I think of cold—

your boxed sweaters sighing

beneath a bed. The blue

that was winter in you.

Here is only jalapeno

green, life bright

as a Cyndi Lauper song.


Enclosed, find a picture

David took of me. I’ve tried

to make my face

as Pennsylvania as I can.



Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length poetry collections, The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press, 2011) and The Fear of Being Found, which will be rereleased from Zoetic Press later this year. Erin’s poetry and nonfiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Ecotone, Mid-American, Florida Review, 32 Poems, Willow Springs, Third Coast, and Crab Orchard Review. Erin teaches in the English Department at the University of Tennessee and serves as the Managing Editor for Sundress Publications and The Wardrobe.

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