Chemistry.com/Palmer is a Match–

By Elizabeth Powell

Featured art: Edna by Robert Henri

I knew you really wanted to meet me,
But I had the sneaky feeling you were an uber-Aryan
Chiropractor with homoerotic tendencies,
That maybe I should re-up with my academic
Asperger’s husband, and wear muu-muus on Saturday nights.
But I met you anyway before your snowboard race.
The style gel in your crew cut looked like ice,
Your red coat was puffy. You were disappointed
That my hair didn’t look like my picture. You implied
I was a liar. We walked down Main Street in Stowe
Past scented-candle-buying New Jerseyans
And Gnostic punk-rock townies eating baguettes,
My nose beginning to run in the cold,
Until we came to the cemetery and after you
Talked about your lying ex-wife, and your pretty ex-girlfriend,
You talked about a pair of little green baby shoes
That made you realize you were now too old
For children and I thought of the poetic
Significance of shoes, how used and alone
They stood for death. Your incoming text messages
Beeped us all the way to my car, which was German
But somehow not Aryan, where you told me good luck,
Shook my ungloved hand, then thought better
And gave me a hug
As if I were a patient on your ward.


Elizabeth AI Powell is the author of four books, the most recent “Atomizer” is a book of poems that explores synthesetia, poetic correspondences, technology, heartbreak, identity domestic abuse through the lens of olfactory imagery and the world of perfume.

Originally published in NOR 9 Spring 2011

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