by Jéanpaul Ferro


At the beach she asked me if that other girl,

the one with the red bikini and long dark hair,

was prettier than she was;


I was tired of being stormed in, and I was tired

of so much self-doubt—always telling the blue-chrome

sea how absurdly perfect it always was;


knowing that she would never poison my drink,

I said: she's pretty like you;


the next week she told me that she had to take

a trip to find herself—people take a lot of trips

to find themselves lately;


I received several letters from her in Venice,

each one postmarked a day after one another;

how I longed for Venice day and night;


soon letters arrived from Tibet, where these

words like Potala Palace and 15 days of Losar

slowly began to replace me;


months later she was sending letters to me from

the west coast of the United States, little torn pieces

that would reverberate forever;


there were all these sayings she kept repeating:

there is always more than one way; if you think

you know, chances are you do not know anything

at all;


months passed; months that ate the house out from

the inside: a wide horizon that kept opening up into

a blue nowhere-land;


until there was silence, when the postman only

went next door; until this one day when a package

arrived for me with only a little red bikini inside

of it.



An 8-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro's work has appeared in Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Connecticut Review, and on NPR. He is the author of Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011).


This poem originally appeared in issue 1.