Placing it Elsewhere

Someone is always e-mailing me to say they were rather fond of my work,
but they can’t seem to find a place for it right now.
As if my writing were an orphan beating on doors at midnight.
I hear you already,
dear reader,
another writer who’s going to take an analogy
beyond its logical extreme.

But right now, my sweet,
I’m just e-mailing to say that
I’ve found a home for the way
your lower lip curls
slightly in your smile.
And a home for the curls in your hair,
smelling of apples.
I’ve found a home for the freckle
just above the joint on your left elbow,
And for the slight birthmark,
shaped like Australia,
on your shoulder.
But someone else is interrupting
the flow of my thoughts just now,
sending me a quick note
to say that
they could not find a home for my work.
But they wish me the best of luck
placing it elsewhere.


Andrew Bertaina’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in many publications including: The Best American Poetry 2018, The ThreePenny Review, Tin House online, Redivider, and Green Mountains Review. More of his work is available at