To One Left on Fulton Street in Brooklyn

a poem by
MARIAN SULLIVAN | Translator + Writer


 

 

This is the story of a very brief relationship, or, more precisely, a very brief pregnancy. Unintended and unexpected, it was unknown to me until the moment it ended. This poem is my grateful Christmas gift to that first small mystery, who taught me how to love all the others who would later come along. 

ONCE, when I was at work
at the firm,
I held a universe in my hand
in the ladies bathroom
and looked in at it from the outside.
 
It had ways I did not understand.
It did not look like nothing, and yet
there was nothing to it
that I could name.
 
Who can understand destiny
at two in the afternoon, with the secretaries 
brushing their teeth outside the stall door?
 
Who could say whether a motion to dismiss
worth $250 an hour
had more to say to me than this presence
that was not a person
in the legal sense
and was 
 
so close to silence
that it came and went
and asked for nothing
and touched nothing
except for me.
 
Enjoy more of Marian’s work on her blog, A Barbarian Abroad.
 
Photograph by Frederic Frognier
Marian Sullivan
Marian is a millennial old enough to have begun her writing career writing in cursive, with a size 2 pencil. Through a series of happy accidents, she has been a high school teacher, a trial attorney, a mother, and a translator, who works from her home in Italy. She writes humorous snapshots of American and Italian life on her blog, "A Barbarian Abroad". She is a Catholic, and is inspired by the constant freshness of the human abilities to wonder and connect.