Over the Ridge in October by Amanda Phillips

There’s nothing but old clouds above the sycamores, struck flat by the October heat. We pause on the muddy ridge and look out over the river – it’s a creek, but we call it a river because we always feel so unimportant. There’s a chalk-colored bird. There’s the open field below the river filled with dead grass and snakes and the bones of dogs killed a long time ago. There’s the burnt taste of jasmine. A wind lifts up from the backside of the ridge and I can feel my hair breaking. I brush it down with my open hand, but it’s too late. It’s broken at the roots. I push my hand into my pocket. We walk and you say nothing about my broken hair, even though I can see you looking at it when I think you aren’t. You want to smooth it down, but that won’t help. I push your hand away for the first time. You say nothing.

Based in Berkeley, CA, Amanda Phillips is marked by her love and exploration of the uncanniness underlying the human experience. Her poetry has been published in several journals, including Imaginarium and Matchbox.