Heels

By Justin Rigamonti

With a bouquet
of ferns
and lemon
yellow roses,
she looks
incandescent
in the dug-up
photo of
“the time I
got married
the first time.”

Meaning,
pain followed
hot on this
happy woman’s
heels. Meaning,
don’t think
her life has
hummed along
luminously
ever since.

Life never does.
But won’t a smile
like a string of
holiday lights
still have been
a smile?
And joy
for awhile
was still joy.


Justin Rigamonti teaches writing at Portland Community College, where he was the 2019-2021 Poet-in-Residence and serves as the Project Coordinator for the Carolyn Moore Writing Residency. Rigamonti is also an Editor of the Portland-based literary press Fonograf Editions. His poems have been recently published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Susan the Journal, and Radar Poetry.

Originally appeared in New Ohio Review 29.

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