Betsy Sallee

Betsy, come to breakfast



The poet is in the field, planting seeds, there are birds overhead, asking, What’s your name? Smoke rises from the house by water and it’s July, two years from now. In my dream I dial a number that no one ever gave to me, calling to check in. Says she’s been trying to forget the blood, forget the eyes above her. Forget the Hermit in her closet, and under her bed. He asked her if she was trying to forget a fuck, she said, a what? “Little girl, where are you going” and “good, better, best.” But in the bath he asked her if she needed help. The water, cold, his hands, warm, the moisture, unclassifiable. Wood too wet for fire. Now the seeds are growing strong, she says, into what she will remember forgetting. Her routine rehearsed. She hangs up the phone, cuts an apple, ripe and red, retypes poems of poets better than she. The apple, she eats. She eats, she eats, she eats.


BETSY SALLEE’s poetry appears in DIAGRAM, Nat. Brut, and No, Dear. She lives in New York City and is online at