- Nights in the Gulf
I wish I knew you there, a man curled up in a doll’s bed and the tailhooks pounding overhead and always people up and down the stairs and never enough hours, never enough quiet to last the night.
I wish I knew you over Kandahar, the puckered smoke-black mountains and the gunfire spitting at your tail, and the calls coming in and going out and in those times, or when it’s over and you’re making your way back, I wonder if you come across angels while you’re praying for the mail, see the faces of your grandparents sliding past you in the dark.
Sometimes at night, I walk to the beach where I took that last photograph of you, remember how you worried things would be different after so much time, that the dog perhaps would not know you, that this life you loved once would just be one more thing to lose. [End Page 469]
Victoria Kelly graduated from Harvard University and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Southwest Review, American Poetry Review, and Nimrod. She lives in Virginia with her husband, a Navy F-18 pilot.