Issue 2

If Only

by Gina Harlow

In another life I would have lived in Manhattan
poor but pores oozing with interpretation and trepidation,
In exhilaration of the opera singer next door
In another life I would have been born in France
and made cheese on a farm,
I would have drank good wine at a young age,
and foraged for mushrooms and cooked stews
In another life I would have been beautiful
and married an artist, the kind with followers
I would have been an envy and a fool
In another life I would have been the resistance
I would have fed the poor
I would have been childless with un-dyed hair
In another life I would have been very smart
So bright I could have put your lights out
I would have discovered things and been discovered
In another life I would have lived with horses on a ranch in the west
I would have worn crusty boots and rode bareback in jeans
In another life there would be no sonorous breaths from the aging dog
or the aging man in the bed
No untelling portraits of me and my highlights, me and my offspring
me and the man in the bed
No St. Augustine grass, or privacy fence,
No ten year old mid-sized luxury sedan
or umber leaves of fall in the drive

Gina Harlow is a writer living in Austin Texas. Her essays have appeared in the Austin American Statesman, The Hunger Journal, Entropy, Brave Voices Magazine, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a memoir, the story of a middle-aged woman and a young horse. Most of her writing can be found at www.ginaharlowwrites.com. Find her on Twitter @ginasays2 and Instagram @ginaharlowwrites.