For Rachel—

For Rachel—

Wetzsteon, a poet who left

The week I said good-bye

To Manhattan, committing suicide just as I

Drove off,

Born the same year as me

Wrote poems

About me running through the rain, the streets,

Without a slicker, thunder too loud

To say things I needed to say

My silence, she shouts

Her anger,

Echoing outside the buildings,

Plastic bags drifting, descending

Between towers in midtown

While I work

My broken veins inside her heart,

A map of the West Side Highway

Before the 125th Street turn off,

She bleeds, eats a cream puff anyway,

Watching TV

From the same neighborhood cookie shop

I chose the chocolate glaze

She watches the shadows play

On the walls inside my apartment,

The plane descends, rerouted

Above us both, blinking in the fog,

The old wind blows

As I write in Sakura Park

She scratched lines on the benches with her fingernail

I dug at the dirt with my boot,

Picking up my pen once more in a new place

I remember those gray clouds, the brick wall

And the green string wrapped around the blonde child’s finger

You wrote about that little girl

Before you buried your ink  




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River Salt

River Salt

The river running through my mouth bypassed my heart, the tongue dried up.


Down the hill I ran, rushed not by gravity’s trail, but the scent of kilned yeast and lard cutting clean through wet dirt air.


Soon you will speak to an empty room, calmed by the weight of echoes, of space. Alone you become a snowflake of grief.


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