Hannah Schultz: Two Poems

Crossing the Mediterranean

I don’t know why I left
with a stranger that night—
          smoking a hash cigarette
in the middle of the street,
tripping on loose bricks.
          Everything felt off, like
the end of an acid trip
when your furniture looks
          like it’s been moved two inches
to the left. Maybe it was
the Mediterranean
          Sea, the sun’s refusal to set
over it. Or the gnarled
little dog I found near
          the highway in Morocco.
I couldn’t take him home
with me so I sat there
          cradling him, tears falling
like a sunset, my dress
turning black. And when the night
          was woolen, thick with hash
and lack of sleep I think I
just wanted to let someone
          hold me for a while.




Nick says that we’re inherently selfish
but he buys the homeless man dinner. I wonder
if we do these things just to feel pleasure.

I do it to forget the time I hit a rabbit with my car
and kept driving, saw it split to pieces in the rear
view mirror. The time I left a date and went straight

to another. I watch people in traffic stop to help
others, the boy who sells roses on the freeway
exit sells out of flowers, a sign tied to a fence tells

me I’m loved but the homeless man grabs
my hand and puts it to his heart—says it’s not beating
because of the chip in his arm.


Photo credit: Taylor Vinton

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