How to isolate, by Stephanie Erdman

Step one: Remember the way the sun was and working with your hands. Skin touched and touching, breathing unguarded moments. Cup the memories like water and drink.

Step two: Let the days atrophy in you. These fluorescent days begin to seem like nights; glowing nights when you sleep. Dream of some unnamed integer, some variable and its standard deviations—plus or minus seven.

Step three: Become shuffled and irreverent to seasons passing by the windows.

Step four: Despair. This is Limbo; you begin to believe in the empty.

Step five: Fold an envelope around the voices in the whiskey-scented rooms you treasure, the places you are starting to forget.

Step six: Embrace the quiet, face the sun, speak to it in gasoline and smoke.

Step seven: Raise your fists against the waiting. Curse your scarred knuckles.

Step eight: Smile. You are almost no one now.

Stephanie L. Erdman graduated Purdue University and received her master’s degree through Indiana University. Her first poetry collection, Pyrrhonic, is available through Dos Madres Press. Stephanie describes her style as anything with music and novelty. She is very much a poet from and of the Midwest, but her poetry attempts to capture the universal views, moments, and feelings that are common to most everywhere. She writes about Indianapolis and Nashville, Washington and South Bend, Detroit and the lakeshore and Chicago but conceding the feeling that these places could be anywhere.

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