The First Year


You said it would be an adventure

and I agreed; a great expedition

north to the town of


salt-box houses haunted by Einstein’s ghost.

We emerged from our fortress

of books—my novels and your


theological masters—two southern

pilgrims under the mild sun of the

Jersey summer. When we got here,


I cried in our closet-sized living room,

moving awkwardly between the boxes

of white wedding gifts yet unwrapped,


the hazards of our three-day journey forgotten,

and I dissolved beneath the cardboard.

You pulled me out with sobriquets and


striding walks through the picturesque town

long covered over with pomp and

the elite sideways glance of the maitre de. 


We liked to walk. We loved the

bakery and the library, dousing ourselves

with sweet flour between the rising glass walls.


I gazed lustfully at the university, its

spires soaring to a heaven I would

never know. I thought how


sad it is, the lives we must forsake

to faithfully live our own.  Do

you remember when I told you


all the things I would do if I only

had wings and an open ear to hear

the words I scribble. Dreams,


it seem, wax and wane under the relentless

rains of the long Jersey winter; before it dried,

I stepped into a deep puddle


and disappeared. 


©Ashley Herring Blake 2015