Poetry: Elisabeth Houston

Elisabeth Houston studied history at Yale University and later attended Boston University’s MFA program in poetry. She is also a Cave Canem Fellow. She lives in Cambridge and teaches literature to women incarcerated at MCI-Framingham.



Perhaps he was real. Maybe not.
I’ll call him Adolofo, A.
He was tall and handsome
and speaks like there are stones in his mouth.
I saw him five times in two months
often at night and often for three hours
at a time. Conversation passed
between us like a big red ball.
It was ordinary, unremarkable.
He kissed my mouth, a torn
rose-bud and my wings began to sprout.
We kissed again and he grew horns.
Rolled this way and that way
on a pile of hay just past Altoona,
South of Pottsville and West of Paris. Locate
desire and you find yourself lost. It exists
in the small of his back and the curve of your jaw. Hear my words
Baci, baci. Non posso vederti. Baci. And then they are gone.