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Author: Corey Oglesby

Lines in the Rain

You, dear Brenda, are at home

with our son, whose remarkable

days have him laughing

like any kid he isn’t. When

we made him out of the wish

to make him, we knew nothing

except our own parents couldn’t be

close or far enough.

Our son can’t run, which may

be our fault, we’ll never know,

like sitting on separate daggers.

Love is the need to escape

the beloved, isn’t it? So you can

pretend you can’t cause any pain?

It’s a mutation of guilt, isn’t it?

I hide beneath sheets, close

to your belly, and apologize

—to you, to my mother, to our son,

to motherhood and fatherhood,

to all those now fleeing

what they love. It’s grotesque,

but I will cough something up,

a bloody string of self, to tie

you to me, me to him, him to you,

then we can all go our ways,

separate or not, or nowhere, and pluck

that string, feel each other

tensing, teasing the other end.

You may not understand—I don’t

either—but someday we might:

Someday shines on families like light.

from To Keep Love BlurryFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2012
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Antidote for Night

        So much as close my eyes

and a flayed Labrador is laid at my doorstep.

        And here’s the same bone

lodged in the slippery pottage

          of my heart

where this man croons, Baby you’re so sweet

until I take his head between my hands

                   and lay it on my breast.

    There’s the moon in the high window, her wall-eye

glancing off me, and a few bobbing stars,

every tawdry shining thing.

    I’ve identified Venus more times

than I can count as an agent for insomnia,

a broad sail that catches the wind and slides away.

    Not even halfway through the hours,

his fitful sleep, wheeze of a saber-saw,

waves receding on a rocky shore,

breath whip-snaking down a chute, until his body

forgets—how still, how close the kingdom,

one stalled-gulp away,

and I jostle his dying shoulder—he recoils, yes,

rebels, back now, mouth full of silver,

    What? he moans to darkness, what?

from Antidote for NightFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2015
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.