Jessica Greenbaum

Jessica Greenbaum is the author of Inventing Difficulty, winner of the Gerald Cable Prize, and The Two Yvonnes, chosen by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the NEA, and of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Prize from the Poetry Society of America for the poems in Spilled and Gone. She teaches inside and outside academia, and lives in her native Brooklyn.

Spilled and Gone

Poems

Jessica Greenbaum’s third book of Poetry

I Was Waiting for You Outside the Post Office
I was waiting for you outside the post office
A gray morning, nothing special about it
Except everything, since we were traveling
People walked to work pressing their collars
Closer to their throats, a delivery truck
Almost backed into a parked motorcycle
But by the time I recorded it here and looked up
Both gone. One of this city’s oversized
Pigeons, stocky in a brown turtleneck and
Gray bottom, hustled like a man-in-motion
Among the chimney pots, and no matter the
Stillness of the pale yellow buildings (a hue
Mythically, or stubbornly, without analogue)
No matter the rows of stillness you could tell
The whole city was moving slightly as if
Under water, each limb in the tree crowns
Riding their own eddy, each person striding
Their own path, a window opening and a cat
Threading between parked cars, the sky
Pulling it all along into what might happen
Next, and you arriving, saying, Come with me.