Erica Ehrenberg is a graduate of Amherst College and the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program at NYU. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies including The New Republic, Slate, jubilat, Octopus, The St. Ann’s Review, Dancing With Joy (Crown, 2007) and Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets: Poems About Horses (Knopf, 2009). Born and raised in New York City, she has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and from Stanford University where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is completing her first collection of poetry, Bruno Goes to the City of the Night to Plead for His Possessions.
Photo credit: courtesy of the artist
“Bruno Goes to England to See the Elgin Marbles”
Bruno goes to England to see the Elgin marbles
and to walk for days in green fields where he won’t be seen.
He wants to walk in the Downs,
as if it meant walking with such lightness
that he could walk softly on a rabbit’s back,
or underneath the landscape. He dreams of sleeping
in a heap of swans, so many he can’t distinguish them
as individuals, he sleeps with both his face and his hands against
warm oval bodies with beating hearts and higher up,
through the course of the necks, a system of elevated eyes
watching him—but they are not birds but the university girls
who swarmed the bar he had been sitting in since the late afternoon,
after he had been to the museum and left with a sense of desolation so great
that he almost stopped breathing. He drinks to be welcome,
making himself in the process the target of these girls
in heels high as the stems of meat thermometers.