by Molly Sowash
My cousin shot a doe in the wrong place. The hip, not the heart. The deep woods, not the field.
He found her in a thicket of multi-flora rose, searching for berries amidst briars. We found her
next week at the edge. Dusk on the path between mowed and wild.
fresh flowers in fall | hexagonal chapel | how do we mourn this
My best friend called from Senegal one evening. How many years has it been since she walked
in her sleep? Night terrors again. She did not ask, are you there? Can you hear me? I settled into
her ear. Cradled her voice against my face.
we sit side by side | sharing breath our sighs | a funeral hymn
My Papa held my gums in his soft grip. Steady-handed, explaining every move. A slow count to
three before twisting the tooth from its cord. I smiled into his chest.
stranger’s suicide | our brief brother survived by | his sake forsaken
I warmed my neighbor’s hands after she shoveled snow. I learned to kiss a stranger on both
cheeks. I pushed together split skin across my father’s forehead.
casket of dark curls | hold his mother’s body to our own | impossible morning