I call my friend Alan to talk while I drive up the coast, past a friend’s house in Salem Center,

a friend I haven’t seen in almost a year. She is not dead, but I guess, I am dead

to her, or she to me since we only speak in space.


The Kernwood Bridge is up, letting a boat through on the Danvers River. I am stuck

by the street of another friend who’s gone and left, who lives across from a graveyard, honest,

no joke.

I ask Alan would it kill someone to jump off this bridge? No, but you might break a few bones.


How about the Beverly Bridge? It’s right there, up the river, all new sleek, it’s one of the few bridges left safe for me to

drive over. Yeah, that bridge will kill you. Once when we were all

friends, all alive, all clean, we ate at a clam shack there at the foot and saw the cops and



screaming to the high rails. That’s not how I’d do it, one of us said. And then we went back to

our chowder.

How about the Veterans’ Bridge over the Annisquam? I dreamed once my car drove right over

the edge, into that warm water that would take me out to Wingaersheek, and finally the Atlantic.


Oh yeah, broken into pieces, shattered. Like hitting cement, rock. But what are you going to do?

I want to keep asking him until I run out of bridges, all the way up to Maine, but the call drops

and my phone dies.


by Jennifer Martelli

Jennifer Martelli’s chapbook, Apostrophe, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing Company. Most recently, her work has been included in Bop Dead City, Cactus Heart, *82, and is forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly and Jersey Devil Press. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts with her family and is an associate editor for The Compassion Project.

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