Where You Fell

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

The snow held your shape like bedding,
the shadow of your hand over your head ruined
by the feet of the men who found and carried you.

I stayed in your house for a day, following your habits,
coatless to the shed and back. I finished the wood
you’d begun to split, feeling the heft of the axe

as you felt it. We are always becoming what
we lose. They will say they saw a fox whisper
into your ear. They will never come back.

I pawed the snow to form your hand again,
your sleeping profile. Then I pressed my face
to the mold of your cheek and I became you.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro
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JENNIFER FUMIKO CAHILL earned her MFA in writing from Columbia University. She lives in Tokyo, where she teaches writing at Temple University’s Japan Campus. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, and Prairie Schooner.

Her poem “Where You Fell” won the 2007 Robert Watson Literary Prize for poetry.