Grief no. 3
You once asked if I would sleep
on your grave. It’s a moving scene,
I admit. How I would crawl, eyes raw
and infant pink, lips aquiver. How I would pull
myself atop the mound scarred with shovel
thwacks and press my face into the earth
packed like spent coffee grounds. I would let
the loam mold my form, wear my shape
like a family crest. I would pretend that we were
in our bed and explain my cold and lonely
by you stealing the duvet. The shifting
of the earth beneath me would be you
rolling over. I would play for myself
the soundtrack of your snores and night wuffles.
I would know that the dead don’t stay
still or quiet. I would imagine your fingers
tunneling towards air. If you emerged,
horrible and hungry, I would give
myself to you freely. I would consent
to be consumed. The least I could do.
I would not mourn how you deserve.
Do you see? I look and look,
but you are never quite there.
You are a call that stops ringing the second
I get inside the door. You are a message
in sand at high tide. You are a robin’s first
flight in my guts when I see a blonde head
or bones in a ravine, an architect’s model for life.
I carry crumbs to lead you home. In dreams
I follow, branches fray my hair like cobwebs,
burrs sequin my socks. A shadow, a boot print.
Are you there? Is there anything to bury?
Frances Mac hails from the Texas Hill Country and currently lives in Washington, DC. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Santa Clara Review, Lammergeier, Lily Poetry Review, Collateral, Aji Magazine, and others. Learn more about her work at www.francesmacpoetry.com.
Alarm of Terror
by Abdulmueed Balogun
... two in the morning, / a quick reminder of the terror / that lurks in the throat of dawn ...
... ‘round about midnight it was storming something awful on highway 1 ...