Rogue Poem: "&"


I was given things I couldn’t take care of.
Trifles – withstanding death’s gate
as heirlooms, becoming.
A freckle between breasts.

We forged our histories.
Blackened the handle inscribed
to our wash tags as though
we hadn’t shared a short drive
through a snow-globe’s stooped tree-limbs,
the aging bungalows
crouched to scale,
and let its sick breeze curl our sleeves.

Years we obeyed the chiseling
for dysmorphic hollows and fasted
for slight hands capable
of cupping within, knuckles
like anniversary knots, and
carving an ampersand
when a heart was nearly as easy
as our names.

No heirlooms follow
but the torrent
we lie proofless beside.
A pane once shaken
that’ll silence the half of me.

Zouch Magazine published "&" in December 2011 with a strange gap isolating the last stanza from the whole. Not a huge mistake, but certainly distracting. I contacted them, asking for the space to be removed, and they said they'd try. Over two years later, I decided to do the grunt work myself (hitting backspace twice) and thus feature the poem in its proper, insofar unseen, form. Welcome home, old boy.


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