By Peggy Towers

I am a citizen of longing.

Oh, don’t flatter yourself.

I stopped long ago longing for you

to plant the seed of something like love in me.

That I ever thought you capable

of anything but greed amazes me.

You twist the truth of what you were –

pulling me out of the quagmire of myself, ha.

If you pulled me out of anything it was only

to thrust me into the quicksand of you –

glug glug – I can still feel the suck and clutch

of you grabbing me by the hips and pulling me under.

You claimed I had a knack

for orienting myself the wrong way,

but I learned how to breathe

through narrow tubes from the top

and let the light seep in

pinpoint by pinpoint

while you flopped around

in darkness like a fish in mud.

PEGGY TOWERS earned her master of arts in Creative Writing at the State University at Buffalo, where she studied with the late John Logan. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, and appeared in dozens of publications over the past three decades, during which time she has been a Just Buffalo Writer in Residence, and a fellow in the WNY Writing Project Summer Institute at Canisius College. She has studied poetry and fiction writing in Santiago, Chile, St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in Tennessee, and most recently, in the Advanced Poetry Workshop at the famed 92nd Street Y in New York City. She also holds a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from UB, and has been an avid runner for more than three decades, completing five marathons, including the Boston Marathon.