Bob, I saw your hand-tooled belt at the flea market
on Saturday. Your palindrome caught my eye.
There was nowhere to go. That’s probably why
I wanted your belt. Because we were in a crowd—
at last—we were crowded up against so much
stuff. The planes were landing on our heads
in the sun by the broken ice truck. The lady said
I could have your belt for ten dollars. It was hard
to hear each other. Five dollars, she said.
I shook my head because I’m saving for a 19th
century book on hummingbirds with painted
boards, and obviously you were a very slim-waisted
person. I’ve seen your type before at truck stops
between Nevada and the coast. I always marvel
at delicacy up against vast landscape. What are
the odds? I try not to stare. I stayed at that stall
for most of my time while the last of everyone’s ice
was melting, and we laughed and shook our heads
at how fast it disappears. Wherever we are now,
Bob, know that your name was there in our hands.
Also, I would have liked to dance with you.
Laura McKee is the author of Uttermost Paradise Place, winner of the 2009 Honickman First Book Prize, and See You Soon, finalist for the 2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington and lives in Seattle.