Now That the End Is in Sight

Our shared strength wanes–
vaxxed, we talk about the end
like a peek of sunrise through
the blinds. Yes, beyond
winter depression we just had
depression and didn’t know
it. Spring sun’s out and
we are outside drinking.
Kids graze by like
the virus never happened.
But I was there. I was
strong. Even as a kid,
finding my father crumpled
on the floor and convulsing,
eyes rolled to the back of his
head during his stroke,
I calmly dialed 911
and waited until the
ambulance arrived, and
I was fine the whole time.
But when my sister
screeched her SUV’s tires
into our driveway, I let
go. A lifeboat. I ran
into her arms, crying,
not knowing how to say
anything I wanted to say,
and she just held me
and said it’s going
to be okay– but she
didn’t know. This past
year, I’ve held you to tell
you it’s going to be okay,
but how could I know?
Now that the end is in
sight, we wait for the light,
wilting in its arms to meet it.

(originally published in Capsule Stories, Spring 2021)

Highland Square

early decade of adulthood
the waning hours of youth
again at Zubs eating a
gourmet garbage sandwich
after rousing our wildness
at The Matinee a home
for scavengers raccoons
staring up at night into
the ether of everlasting
noise a comfort stuck
inside our guts like I
know it’s 3 AM I don’t
want to leave not now
until this moment I
cocooned inside my shy
quills alive in sensitive
jurisdiction I witnessed
within me a shooting
star on the verge of
traversing three
thousand miles of
plain songs to desert
you was not
cake I will stuff
myself sick hunch
over the toilet and
pray tonight tomorrow
I will be home

(originally published in Magnolia Review, Winter 2021)