by Emily Raabe
My godmother wants to die, when her time comes,
by taxi. She plans to throw herself in the path
of a yellow cab on Park—she’s confident
the driver will never think to use the brake.
She will be wearing her best suit, and my mother,
her oldest friend, will be there too, to smooth
her skirt sedately over her angled knees.
New York City will move around her
traffic like water splitting around a rock
in a river, coming back to itself
unchanged. My godmother will lie on her corner
in her Chanel suit, resplendent
and splendid under the wheels of an unprotesting
cab on its way to pick up, or drop off,
just doing its business, which on one particularly
brilliant autumn afternoon,
sun working its way down the avenues
like light unfurling in tunnels, will include
lifting my godmother from the city she loves
leaving just a vast and rippled wake, catastrophe
one thumbprint smeared and blurring.
Emily Raabe’s poetry has been published in the Antioch Review, Brooklyn Review, and the Chester Jones National Poetry Competition Winners Anthology. She was a finalist for the Writers at Work Fellowship in 2003 and has twice been awarded scholarships to the Breadloaf Writers Conference.