Vicki Iorio


After I read Michael Dickman's poem, Emily Dickinson to the Rescue
I saw Emily's ghost:
Hands extended
Eyes closed
A zombie in a starched linen nightgown crossing I95
Undone, she had floated away from Amherst
She was drifting down the south bound lane
Nobody saw her but me
It was twilight
The time deer like to travel
I didn't want to hit her
I didn't want to stop short
There was a semi carrying provisions behind me
Not wanting to become a dead grocery store
I drove through her
She sat beside me in the car
& yes, she needed a rest stop
& yes, she liked MacDonalds'
I took her to see Michael Dickman read Emily Dickinson to the Rescue
at an NYU reading
I was theoldest living person there
Michael Dickman looked like a baby to me
Emily interacted with the other ghosts
She picked out strawberries and punch from the buffet table
Nobody saw her eat but me
Cancer, house fires and brain death
Dickman tells us this makes up the world
& yet he loves the world
There is joy in his poetry
I want to be joyous.
Emily tugs at my sleeve
She is homesick
It is dawn when we arrive in Amherst
The pines shudder with joy at her homecoming

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