After the Auction, I Bid You Good-Bye

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil Aimee Nezhukumatathil
You elbow me with your corduroy jacket
when a box chock-full of antique marbles comes up.
I can’t hear your whispers above the auctioneer’s racket.
 
The clipped speech of the auctioneer cracked
me up when you impersonated him in bed. Like a wild, thick mop
I soak up every copper smell from your corduroy jacket.
 
In two days, I will drive you to the airport, packed
with other couples pressed tightly at the top
of the escalator. Lines sear my cheek from your corduroy jacket
 
when we hug—then a quick kiss good-bye tacked
on at the end. I’ll finger the rim on the paper coffee cup
you leave in my car. When I hear your name I can’t forget
 
how your long torso pressed against my bare back,
bluish in this early light. Your fingers shot into me, popped
my spine into a wicked arch. There is no lack
 
of how it haunts me still—what I bid—lost, sacked
and wrapped for other girls. I should have looked up
to see who else was bidding, but I studied the folds in your jacket.
My limit is spent, loud and certain as the auctioneer’s racket.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "After the Auction, I Bid You Good-Bye" from At the Drive-In Volcano. Copyright © 2007 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.  Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.

Source: At the Drive-in Volcano (Tupelo Press, 2007)

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Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Subjects Love, Heartache & Loss, Activities, Indoor Activities, Relationships, Men & Women

Poetic Terms Villanelle

 Aimee  Nezhukumatathil

Biography

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of Miracle Fruit (2003), winner of the ForeWord Magazine Poetry Book of the Year and the Global Filipino Literary Award; At the Drive-In Volcano (2007), winner of the Balcones Prize; and Lucky Fish (2011). Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, FIELD, and American Poetry Review. Her honors and awards include a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is . . .

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SUBJECT Love, Heartache & Loss, Activities, Indoor Activities, Relationships, Men & Women

Poetic Terms Villanelle

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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