Rise of the Novel
Your novel wintered in the East village,
a cold water flat with inexplicable
walls. Your novel was a bag of beads.
Your novel came in the back seat
of a taxi. Your novel made grievous
errors that were the genius
errors of a second favorite carriage
horse naked in a public park
along with everyone else and no one
cared but me and my poor skirt.
Your novel was neither loose, baggy,
nor monstrous, except for one
Sunday we will not discuss but recall
often, privately. Your novel was no
Versailles. Your novel was born behind
a craft store, under your jacket,
and you tried to reveal it to somebody
but your novel was not yet ready.
Your novel was the train cry background
of all my childhoods. Your novel
was a cautionary tale in the shower
with a skimpy nylon curtain.
Your novel was the second of two films
about the continental divide.
Mary Biddinger’s most recent poetry collection is O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Akron, where she edits the Akron Series in Poetry and Barn Owl Review.