In the month of April, The Standing Desk will showcase four pieces under the “April Flowers” series from Liz James. This is the first installment of the four works. Look out for an interview with Liz James soon!
The bridge home has two sides. In the middle is a large, disappearing, and yonic-shaped arrow pointing toward the town. A great gap over the river, or nothingness, conversely. On one end is the town, and on the other: the non-town. The favored side features a view of rock art and the abandoned mall, and the woods where we climbed trees to pick berries, where friends did drugs in junior high, and we set off fireworks on the other days in July.
On the west is the side where I always forget lays another sidewalk. The side with no rocks, and with roads of no bridges, even though I’ve never seen the river’s end. It’s the side where we took your dog and let her off the leash to run around. Where we found what might have been a dog or maybe a cat in the water. That side of the bridge is where I attended a funeral in earnest for the first time.
The town is divided into quadrants, but only three of them have grocery stores.
South is where I hosted the party that began the ending of most of my friendships. Where my compass points so eagerly, so stuck in traumatic past that I mistake it for North.
East is where I had my first kisses.
West was never mine, but it was home and North doesn’t have a grocery store.
The directions feel detached from greater meaning and I fear I’ll never leave this tiny town. North leads not to Canada, but to my little house with thin walls and dusty floors where I can hear my neighbors as if they were yelling beside me in the shower. West is not toward Colorado, but to the farthest deliveries; fifteen minutes away. The town is a snow globe with a great arching cover that keeps the tiny glittered confetti of snow and sleet and leaves inside and me too.
When I drive across the bridge, I forget the water beneath me.
Liz James is a 23-year-old poet from Kansas. Their poetry revolves mostly around themes of self-discovery and plant life. They self-published a zine, ‘Rehab for Caffeine Addicts’ in 2015, and have been a featured reader for the Taproom Poetry Series and KU’s Undergraduate Reading Series, which they directed from 2015 until 2017. Liz’s favorite flowers are cornflowers and anemones.