between the lines


Pedestals                                                                                                   Stefanie Wielkopolan


In the morning
            at the table of our Berlin hotel
we ate fresh rolls with butter
and strawberry preserves.

For two weeks
            statuesque in presence
held our hard boiled eggs
while British and American tourists
drank carafes of coffee and juice.

At the center
            a small bucket
collected the egg shells, trash and unwanted food.

For two weeks
we ate Nutella and jam for lunch
drank beer and fell asleep
            side by side
at the park.
The Italian restaurant
            down the street
was our nightly gathering place
for liquor and pasta.

It is this nameless street
in Berlin
that I return to
when I want to remember
our friendship
before the movement.
Before the loss.
Before thousands of miles
and a distant heart
separated us.

Three years later
the birds are silent in Pittsburgh


The Getty

We made our way
up the mountain
and found avocados
            so green
they were almost black.

Friend, you brought me here
walked with me through rooms that displayed
the beautiful
the ordinary.

We stopped to breathe it all in
            mid-century America
and the room of peppers and lemons.

You found me staring at Outerbridge
asked why I would want to stay
in one room
with one photograph
when there was so much left to see.
It feels like peace, I whispered
as you stood next to me
and waited.

Hours later
as we rode the train
down the mountain
all I could see was the opening of air
and you
            my friend
            to my right
where you had always been.



Stefanie Wielkopolan is a Michigan poet who keeps moving back to Pittsburgh. Up until the age of eight, she grew up in the family's bowling alley in Dearborn, MI and she credits this experience for her love of a good dive bar, people watching, and writing poetry. She received her M.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of Michigan and in 2008 her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chatham University. Her first collection of poetry, Border Theory, was published by Black Coffee Press in 2011.





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