“We Will Have Wanted to Have”

A Poem by Amy Woolard

August 3, 2020  By Amy Woolard

I said trouble. I meant summer. I can’t wait
For summer to be over. Just because you’re

Sitting tucked up under a bridge doesn’t mean
You’re in a tunnel, doesn’t mean the weather

Won’t find you, doesn’t mean the train
Villains up the story just because there’s tracks

Below you. We’d bought a six-pack, maybe two,
Once. Once we thought it would be the last time.

That would’ve been a decade ago, maybe
Two. Our currency is drinks. We both pay

For each other, so we owe each other another
Round. It’s because I said trouble, isn’t it? I meant

Sugar—I can’t wait until it gets cold as wedding cake.
The summer will still be there when we’re gone.

That time I meant bridge, love. We’re like bringing
A truck to a train fight. We’re in the old Dodge.

Our love is the bench seat. My eyes on you, those two
Scalene door windows, unlatched & angled open.

Just because I’m tucked into you doesn’t mean
I want this to be over, doesn’t mean we’re not

The villains of this story. We’ll both weather each
Other, owe each other another summer. At any

One time, there will have been two ways you will find
This could’ve gone. Your eyes on me, a cold current.

Turn the engine over. Our love is angled
Open. The rain velvets up the story.


neck of the woods, amy woolard

Excerpted from Neck of the Woods by Amy Woolard. Copyright © 2020. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Alice James Books.

Amy Woolard
Amy Woolard
Amy Woolard is a legal aid attorney working on civil rights policy and legislation in Virginia. Her first collection, Neck of the Woods, received the 2018 Alice James Award from Alice James Books. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Boston Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere, while her essays and reporting have been featured in publications such as Slate, The Guardian, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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