“Self-portrait with Catastrophe” by Anna Ross

In the market, I’m searching

for the aisle of substitutions ¾ sour milk

for memory, molasses for temper ¾ and the aisle of more

sky view ¾ near the aisle of escaped eggs,

but not the aisle of lost needles

and the buttons that rolled with them

or the aisle of always the wrong dress.

People are fleeing the aisle of unsent letters

like frogs before an earthquake as I wheel by,

but where is the aisle of measures ¾ how tall

the children will grow by morning, how many miles left

for that rattle in the exhaust, how many years

to feed the tornado in each lung.

And what will I remember I’ve forgotten,

when I leave?

Anna RossAnna Ross is the author of If a Storm, winner the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry and published in 2013 by Anhinga Press.  Her work has appeared in Barrow Street, Memorious, The Paris Review, The American Reader, Southern Poetry Review, and The Brooklyn Quarterly, and she has received fellowships from the Squaw Valley Poetry Workshop, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Grub Street.  She is a visiting editor in poetry for Salamander Magazine and a poetry editor for Consequence Magazine. She teaches at Emerson College, and lives in Dorchester, MA, with her husband and their two children.