Market Day by Erinn Batykefer

I must believe not to move is to be more easily found.

At the vintage junk-trader’s stall, I pulled
a ribbed Fire King bowl from the bowl it nested in

and the ringing did not stop.
The market turned a maze of buzzing edges,
the flower stall’s nasturtiums jerking on their stems,
the bowl’s opalescent sheen in the air, seizure-white.
I must kneel at the door with hairpins and toothpicks, dig
the ghost fennel from the keyhole.
I carried the ringing bowl through the stalls—
husk cherries and small split plums; raw sugar and salvia,
summer squash, but never again nasturtiums—
its empty mouth a strobe-drone, leaping like halogen.
I must inscribe a circle in the dirt: market, river hills;
I must sweep the St. John’s wort from the linens.
Years I lived with a shadow stepping into my footprints—
going home took a long time, every alleyway echoing

come haunt me again.

Erinn Batykefer earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of Allegheny, Monongahela (Red Hen Press) and The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide (Coffee House Press). Her work has appeared recently in Blackbird, Lockjaw Magazine, Cincinnati Review, and FIELD, among others. She works as a librarian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1 thought on “Market Day by Erinn Batykefer

  1. Kathy Egan Effron

    My mother’s maiden name was Batykefer (Margaret). Our daughter was just hired to be Assoc. Editor of the on line magazine. We grew up in Allison Park just north of Pittsburgh. My cousins all grew up in Mt. Washington. Just wondering if we might be family?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.