That Woman

whose youth is a hard drug rushing slowly to the brain
who is always spilling tangled letters from her hands
who has a restless tenderness for thesauruses
and for expressionist paintings and antique coffee cups
and for Monk piano riffs and an incurable
longing to be fluent in French and to live
in a country she’s never been to before
and a mind dimly lit with a thousand old voices
like candles flickering in an empty cathedral,
and a tenderness for public transport, where the train-cars
are peopled with dozens of stories all wearing different coats,
and an infatuation with the color blue
and the sound that “M” makes in the mouth
and the soft diffusion of her skin into his hands
and that bad habit, downtown Las Vegas,
and the taste of tangerines, of water
and of his lower lip, sweetness from the
jar of sugar on her childhood kitchen’s countertop,
and certain dog-eared pages and a burnt-out bulb,
who, here, stands at the lustrous cusp of her unfolding,
and puts down the pen.

(inspired by “That Man” by Jorge Luis Borges)

Ariel Horton


Ariel Horton is a 21-year-old poet, actor, and college student. Among others, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rogue Agent, Impossible Archetype, Vagabond City, Bones Journal, ANGLES Literary Magazine, and The Greenleaf Review.

© 2020