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The spring I turned thirty-five and took up running - Michael Favala Goldman

Cooper River Park, Cherry Hill, NJ

for my mother

I was standing with the river rats, everyone

saying what state of marriage or divorce

they were in, and I said I was divorced.

When it was his turn he said

I’ve never been married

and we all had a good chuckle.

I left a few notes on his windshield

with my phone number.

He never called.

I found out his last name; he was

two years older than me and living

at home with his parents.

So I called him there, spoke to his mother,

who thought it was a good idea

we go out on a date.

We saw Annie Hall, which I had seen

with another man the week before.

Next time he took me to a remote restaurant

in the Pine Barrens and ordered a plate

of frogs’ legs. I overlooked that,

asked him if he wanted to move in.

He didn’t answer. Then one day

he pulled up in his orange Fiat

with all his belongings and never left.


Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is a poet, jazz clarinetist and translator of Danish literature. Among his sixteen translated books is Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen, which made the New York Times Best 10 Books of 2021 as book three of The Copenhagen Trilogy. Michael’s five books of original poetry include Small Sovereign, which won first place at the 2022 Los Angeles Book Festival in the poetry category. His work has appeared in dozens of publications including The New Yorker, Rattle, and The Harvard Review. He lives in Northampton, MA, where he has been running bi-monthly poetry critique groups since 2018.


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