Woe, Wrong, Wound

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Issue Thirty-Five, Poetry

Grief, n. Seven brush fires raged in my little county on Labor Day. On sidewalks, paint spells Careful, but you have to be looking down already to read that. A town on the eastern side of the state is gone now. It took only three days. You know what else happens in three days? Something about Jesus. Someone without water.

Grievance, n. But listen, beloved. We have three cans of soup. Here are our expenses. When we eat the last apple, taste the hundred fingerprints on the waxed skin. Beloved, there might be death on our hands, but today I ask you stay in bed. Here’s the sound of thunder. Here’s the sound of someone breaking in.

Grieve, v. a. n. I was bent over weeping. The woman saw I was safe, then left. I am not grateful. I will not even pretend. These are the hours I have planted nothing. No garden to cultivate. When tomorrow, I awaken, I cannot tell if I hear thunder or someone breaking in. All night in distant cities—glass shattered, shattered again. I don’t want the numbers today. I can’t tell what they mean anymore. They no longer seem to be for the dead. When I was a child my teacher said Tell me which number is bigger. Tell me how it got bigger. I think she kissed somebody when she went home. I think she went home to herself.

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