Today I thought I saw an ex-love

driving an old Mercedes

with stinking exhaust.

He had a beard

and drove slowly

as if he had no where to go,

as if he wasn’t the younger man

I held captive

in my memory.


Years ago,

right there in the dark—

we became birds

standing on a wire of resistance.

He was a flight risk.

I had a nest.


Ex-loves are panhandlers

of the heart.

They beg for remembrance—

loose change in a cup,

memories clink and spill.

Who can survive on this change?


At the intersection of Washington Boulevard

and North Roosevelt Street stands a man

with a sign that reads:

Bet You Can’t Hit Me

With A Quarter.

I pass him every Monday morning.

I’ve yet to throw a quarter his way.

Sometimes he smokes

and it’s so cold

I worry his hands are too numb

to pick up that quarter—

thrown hot from some hand.


by Sarah Lilius

Sarah currently lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two sons. She is a poet and an assistant editor for ELJ Publications. Some of her publication credits include the Denver Quarterly, Court Green, BlazeVOX, Bluestem, and The Lake. She is also the author of the chapbook What Becomes Within (ELJ Publications 2014).

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