My godmother wants to die, when her time comes,
by taxi. She plans to throw herself in the path
of a yellow cab on Park—she’s confident
the driver will never think to use the brake.
She will be wearing her best suit, and my mother,
her oldest friend, will be there too, to smooth
her skirt sedately over her angled knees.
New York City will move around her
traffic like water splitting around a rock
in a river, coming back to itself
unchanged. My godmother will lie on her corner
in her Chanel suit, resplendent
and splendid under the wheels of an unprotesting
cab on its way to pick up, or drop off,
just doing its business, which on one particularly
brilliant autumn afternoon,
sun working its way down the avenues
like light unfurling in tunnels, will include
lifting my godmother from the city she loves
leaving just a vast and rippled wake, catastrophe
one thumbprint smeared and blurring.
Emily Raabe lives in New York City. Her 2011 book of poems, Leave It Behind, was a runner-up for the FutureCycle First Book Award. Her poems have appeared in periodicals including The Marlboro Review, AGNI, Big Ugly Review, Indiana Review, Diner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Gulf Coast, Antioch Review, and Eleven Eleven. She is also the author of a monograph on the work of the sculptor Lawrence LaBianca, and her novel for children, The Lost Children of Loup-Marin, is forthcoming from Random House. She was educated at Middlebury College (BA), Sussex University (MA), California College of Arts and Crafts (MFA), and is a candidate for the PhD at the Graduate Center at CUNY. She has received fellowships from the Macdowell Colony, the Ragdale Foundation, Rotary International, and the Breadloaf Writers Conference.