Erin Mayer

We are filling suitcases in the hallway for hours.
We are folding our lives into triangles,
folding over and over until twenty years become
travel sized. We are counting the pearl buttons
on every floral dress. We are dreaming
about the Chrysler building. About the steps
in Montmartre.

We are an empty rowboat on a black river.
We are a hat without its head. We try
so hard not to remember slow dancing
on the dock. Barefeet. We cannot
seem to forget the rough wood beneath our
feet. We just keep folding, we just keep
dreaming ahead.

We’re sorry about how loud the seagulls get.
We’re sorry about the loose step in the staircase.
Always sorry about the wrinkles in the button-down
shirts. We ironed them so many times. Ironed
until our hands were reddened raw.
We cannot iron them anymore.    

Erin is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied fiction and modern dance.  She was born in Queens, raised on Long Island, and is currently living the starving artist dream while alternately squatting at her parents' house and boyfriend's apartment (she thanks them for their endless generosity, support, and hot food). Writing has been her one and only dream since she wrote her first story about a haunted mansion at age nine.  Today, she finds almond butter and ennui essential to her artistic process and owes her literary vision to the hours spent memorizing Conor Oberst lyrics.  Career goals include: becoming the next hipster superwoman a'la Miranda July, making enough money to support a cat, and finally winning that Pulitzer.  This is her first grown-up publication.  And if you have to ask, the poem is probably about you.