You have written me
love notes for as long

as I can remember. Now
you wonder where

they are, perhaps imagining
a ribbon around them, neat

stack of years,
perfumed, dogeared.

I explain I have thrown them away.
I explain you keep notes like those

if you fear a day will come
when you will not

receive more,
if you expect the future

to resemble a lesser
version of now, and you

will need props or
cues to conjure a person,

a love. On this bright
winter afternoon,

I hope to have
no memory of you, there

in your wool-trimmed coat
leaning in the sun

on the windblown sill.

Dana Stangel


From the dark frame
of temple and brow, I see
what is before me: a carousel,

my child rising and falling
on an old carved creature, gold
braided poles of a whirling

forest that pulls her in
the coming dusk, low light
clinging to wood. I wait for her

to reappear and when
she does, in the relief
of false absence, she smiles

then twists her neck
to keep on seeing me
as the motion takes her around again --

this is a sort of practice,
watching a loved one go,
axis of age, revolution of roles,

throb in what you don't see,
what you know is coming.

Dana Stangel
DANA STANGEL is currently working toward her MFA in creative writing at New York University.  She received an Academy of Americans Poets Prize while an undergraduate at Cornell University. She also holds a law degree from George Washington University, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.