Day 6: Mexico

Maybe next year

I’ll live in Mexico

I’ll wake up late, to the hot sun

and eat bright fruits I don’t konw the names of

.

I’ll walk the city with my Latin lover

he’ll buy me flowers and

drive me to the playa on his bike

he’ll say “eres hermosa, mi amor”

I’ll laugh off the compliment

.

Later we’ll go for tacos

bought on the street from the man with the mustache

who casually calls me guapa

his dark eyes crinkling with a smile

.

Maybe next year I’ll live in Mexico,

but for now,

I’m in France,

missing you.

Emily Keeter

Day 5: Run

I run in circles around the city

I pass familiar faces

.

I see old men smoking their cigars

young couples embracing

the Uber Eats bicycle delivery boys

the women with their dogs

other joggers

.

I stare back

into the eyes

of every man who watches me pass

Emily Keeter

Day 4: Four-Leaf Clovers

When I was little,

I remember sitting in the grass

with my mom, looking for

four-leaf clovers

.

It’s one of the few nice moments with her

that I remember very clearly.

She tried to do lots of things,

but alcohol always got in the way.

.

This Spring, I was in a park

with my best friend, in Barcelona

looking for four-leaf clovers

.

A stranger stole my backpack

and I never even saw their face

que raro, to feel that you’ve lost something dear

While searching for luck.

Emily Keeter

Day 3: 9 Months

September

Visa in hand, my Dad drops me at the airport

October

An end, in the midst of all the newness

November

Berlin, rain, and sadness. I lay in bed thinking of you.

December

The cold, unrelenting wind pushes against my windows

January

My brother arrives and a piece of me heals.

February

I slip back into old habits, but I think I can see the end of the tunnel.

March

Spring is finally here and I know I’ll make it

April

The rain has started but I’m stronger now. I think of another rainy day, when I invited you to a French play.

May

I will be going home, back to small town USA. My Dad will be there waiting for me at the airport.

Emily Keeter

Day 2: Angry God

It’s Spring now.

Each morning, I wake to birdsong outside my window.

.

It rained last night

for the first time in months

I walked to work

savoring the crisp gray morning

.

It nevers storms here

It’s been almost a year

Since I’ve heard thunder

How do children know God here?

.

Maybe their God is never angry

She never yells, or goes bowling with friends

Kids here don’t have to worry

about Her

What’s it like…to grow up without an angry God?

Emily Keeter

Day 1: Nimes, France

There is a place where the sidewalk ends

Where the long paths, and grass begin

In a quiet city in the south of France

A roman garden of fountains, and plants

The men skip by, with flowers

The women lay on the grass, pass the hours

.

Let us leave this place where no one works

Back down the sidewalk of kitchen tiles

Past fresh sandwiches, and skateboarders by the church

We shall walk to the train station, the tangled network

marching to the sounds of the bells of St. Giles

past benches, and fountains where the pigeons perch

.

But you’re not here, so I’ll walk there alone on the last day

A bright sunny, French day in May

not looking back, but thinking of Hemingway

To the place where the sidewalk ends

.

Emily Keeter