Sometimes at night, we lie awake,
windows wide open, shoes by our beds,
dreaming about the day before
when we could return love
We whisper, “I’m sorry,”
our words fall like dust to the floor
and rise to the roof
into the air we breathe.
(My mother said it was from the streets;
she was always sweeping it
out of the house, that sorrow.)
There is dust in my hair, from the wind.
In this city, dust from them everywhere.
Cathy McArthur’s (aka Palermo’s) work has appeared in Blueline, Barrow Street, Hanging Loose, Gargoyle, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Valparaiso Poetry Review, Lumina, Jacket, Cross-connect, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and other journals. Her translations of Blanca Castellon, from Nicaragua, are forthcoming in Ping Pong Magazine. Cathy teaches creative writing and composition in The City College of New York, where she received her MFA in Poetry, and the Malanche Award for her literary translations.