Upon Re-Entry

Arden Levine

After all that time indoors (the illness, the convalescence)
I couldn’t recall which of the wool hats
cause my forehead to itch. I’d forgotten

that I like to listen to music on headphones
while walking to the grocery store, and I’d lost track
of the grocery store. Going weeks

without checking my mail meant I had no live memory
of which key unlocked the mailbox, or the
wrist-flick trick that rattled it open. I knew

I would need cash, but I was no longer certain
of where one goes to get it, or of how to get it,
or of how to use it once gotten. I also knew

(or felt I knew) that certain months were understood
as being the cold months, and that this was one of them.
But, as it had been so long, I wondered if perhaps

all of the months had traded their features. Perhaps
when I finally ventured forth into winter, I’d confront
a summer tilting precariously toward fall.

from Issue 28.2

ARDEN LEVINE‘s poems are forthcoming in RHINO, Spillway, and Washington Square Review, and recently appeared in Barrow Street, Prelude, and The Missouri Review. Her work has also been featured by American Life in Poetry (selected by Ted Kooser), AGNI, Rattle, and various elsewheres. Arden reads for the journal Epiphany, directs projects and programs for nonprofit organizations and government agencies, and is a D.C.-born Brooklyn resident.