Sarah Chavez


The poem I wouldn’t write for you

   After Larry Levis

is listening to Nick Cave while waiting

at the bus stop.  It breaks into my apartment

like rain through the screen door.  It crawls over

my skin, up beneath my shirt.  It leaves black 

hairs on my pillow, puts its muddy shoes on the couch.

It leaves the cap off the toothpaste, drinks my coffee,

eats the last bagel, hides my cell phone, tries on my jewelry 

and dances in my closet, shredding all the red blouses.

It waits in the passenger seat of my car honking for me to hurry up. 

I yell and throw your picture out the window and say 

That’s enough.  It asks for your number and money for a cab.  

It says to me, you’re no fun, so I give it directions. I even pack 

it a lunch.  It’s a long ride, though, I say, looking at the emptiness 

it is already leaving behind, you don’t need to go.  

It puts on my jacket and doesn’t even look at me.  I grab its knees 

and weep into its pant leg. It tries to kick me off, calls me a bitch 

and spits in my hair.  You deserve to be alone, it says 

shutting the front door.  It leaves me in the carpet,

face down in the mud left from its shoes. From the floor, 

I can hear its map rustling and your doorbell ringing and I can’t 

help thinking of all the things you’ve taken from me.

Sarah A. Chavez is a mestíza born and raised in the California Central Valley. She is currently a fourth

year PhD student with a focus in poetry and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where along with teaching, she serves as the Assistant Director of the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference.

Her work can be found or is forthcoming in American Life in Poetry, WomenArts Quarterly, Calyx, and The Battered Suitcase among others. A selection from her manuscript, This, Like So Much, was chosen as a finalist for the 2012 Arts & Letters/Rumi Prize for Poetry.