Category Archives: Elegy

For Bangladesh and Korea

On August 3, 2014, a ferry sank in Bangladesh, I heard the mothers’ screams half a world away. On April 16, 2014, a ferry sank in Korea, I heard the mothers’ sobs half a world away. When a ferry sinks we will cry out loud. But the drowned children are forever silenced by gulping saltwater […]

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For George M.

Grind the block of French limestone flat, smooth, and blank. Make your drawing. Apply gum arabic mixed with nitric acid. Wash it clean. Move it to the press bed. Dampen the face. Roll the stone with ink. Register a sheet of rag paper. Cover with newsprint and tympan. Lower the bar. Crank. When the edition […]

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For Veronica

For Veronica   I had to choose, had to open the bomb bay doors, hear the whistle of the bomb drop on ground zero in my own heart. My great city burst in a flash. My wings caught flame.   Marble statues and golden shrines shattered and burned. Running children were blown to dust. The […]

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For Clara and Simon

Gone was your graduation day the rose you held, crushed. Gone was your church wedding day, the white lace torn. Gone were your four giggling daughters, the pony rides, the parties with hundreds of guests, the swaying lights, and the sound of a jazz band, wailing, hollering. Simon watched you die. It was like bearing […]

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For Kimberly and Sharice

Kimberly Black and Sharice Swain sat in a parked car Thursday with the motor running when they got into an argument. Kimberly left the car, went into her house, returned with a knife, and stabbed Sharice in the face and neck. Spurting blood, Sharice stepped on the gas pedal and the car hit Kimberly’s two […]

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For George

In fourth grade, our teacher noticed we were the only two who could carve, draw, and paint. She took us to the museum and before El Greco, we looked at each other and knew we were standing before a painting of terror and awe. His tormented brushstrokes, even the way blue died into his titanium […]

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For Lily

The fire burns but brings no warmth. Cypress stands black against the sky. You’re gone; shadows die on the floor. We drove here, our first trip as one, watched sunsets shimmer on white sand, and blue waves breaking on the shore. Later, we came back, to relight that same fire against the sunset What was […]

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For Frank

How many times can a scar heal over? The ones carved into you with a backhoe? Or the ones you pave over with concrete only to crack open in an earthquake? Do tears ever dry up? Or do they fill the hollow left in your chest by grieving, a private Dead Sea sloshing when you […]

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For Dad

Mom phoned: “He’s gone. Come home.” Laid on rented bedsheets, eyes shut, soul pool geysered, leaving mouth gone useless; blessings gone. No last words.    

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