Today, at 6:38 PM, a bundle
of pink balloons rose skyward
outside my 14th floor window
somewhere along 54th Street.

I thought for a moment it was
you, finally arrived. A dramatic
entrance. Tuxedoed, landing
on the ledge, pressing a smile
into the glass. Instead, a long
fray of red ribbon. Not even
a wrist, not a single finger.

All of these poems are from Verlee’s collection Racing Hummingbirds (2010, Write Bloody Publishing). “40 Love Letters” and “Daydream” originally appeared on The Legendary. “Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls With Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair” originally appeared on PANK Magazine.

Jeanann Verlee is a poet and activist who lives in New York City. She is the poetry editor of Union Station Magazine and director of the Urbana Poetry Slam.