(this poem first appeared in The MacGuffin,Winter 2021, Vol. XXXVII, No. 1, and was nominated for the Best New Poets anthology).
I once left the coat on a bed
at a crowded house party, where it
took off with another woman.
She left me her reject—
a more useful black coat,
it turned out, loose enough
to accommodate three layers
of sweaters and stash cash
between the lambswool
and the acetate lining.
Here I am peering from the seam
of my generation at my reflection
in the tempered glass of United Airlines
Gate A5, dizzy in its embrace,
as family ghosts crowd
me in their yellow Star of David-
marked coats from old train
One can’t predict how America’s political
passage may change, just that it will,
like my romance with the black
wool coat, and Grandma’s
gold ring that I plan to marry
deep into its hem.
Abby Caplin’s poems have appeared in AGNI, Catamaran, Love’s Executive Order, Manhattanville Review, Midwest Quarterly, Salt Hill, TSR: The Southampton Review, Tikkun, and elsewhere. Among her awards, she has been a finalist for the Rash Award in Poetry, semi-finalist for the Willow Run Poetry Book Award, finalist for the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Award, and a winner of the San Francisco Poets Eleven. She is a physician and practices mind-body medicine in San Francisco.