Sappho in Quaker Pennsylvania

Maya Catherine Popa

full of brown eggs 
and pale girls. 

Nights cold, 
short walk 
by improvised light. 

What you want the years 
to look like 
in hindsight: 

rain country, inertia, 
stems pushing 
past the sound. 


An archipelago 
of marooned 

I recognized their kind 
everywhere I went.

Everyone wishing 
to be prized, 
then differently. 

On the one hand, 
desire, on the other—


But hindsight’s 
a danger 
to adoration,

the sheen 
of what’s unsaid 
and later seen.


I have borrowed 
your imagination.

The garden, 
modest like the books 
you favored.

Even that square of dirt 
meant something 

I could never mean 
to you: such work 
to understand it.


Love without traction, 
the telegraph knows, 
its flicker and imperative.

The fair-haired children 
under the trees, 
not ours, not ours, you see.