A Thought | Thomas E. Kennedy
The Funeral Director’s Wife | Grace Wells
Infidelity, Almost | Edward Mc Whinney
The Revolutionary | Amy Groshek
What Walt Whitman Said | Liz Prato
A Discourse on Time | Luke Evans
Plum Island | Andrew Coburn

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The Funeral Director’s Wife | Grace Wells

Often I have watched his hands about a corpse,
the closing of the mouth like the closing of a tin can 
gaping and wide; the jagged edge of memory 
prevents a smoothing over.
He will conquer death, make of it a business;
dressed in ceremony his chiselled face  
sets more stone-like with the years.

He doesn’t know I sit with them. 

The talk in whispers is of first kisses,
the way a loved one’s lips turned sour in argument. 
We share trinkets, baby hair kept tied in ribbon, flowers pressed 
between the leaves of faint-ink letters 
from sisters gone over the Atlantic at seventeen.
There is the telling of waking alone to the dark night
and of the shamings, teachers and fathers,
and I hold them, hold their passing, hold the dearest of things

while in the scrubbed yard he reverses the hearse.

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | winter 2007   

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