[another poet]

                                              another poet
                                              apologizes at a microphone
                                              weakening the hull of our ship
                                              if you can’t believe in your poems
                                              leave them at home until you
                                              learn to deserve them
                                              this poem this poet
                                              will not apologize
          I’m tired of smelling my dead boyfriend
               his swimming arms lost to my bed
             it hurts to admit I love being alive
                I broke and those pieces broke
       and those pieces crushed to powder
             things to avoid saying around me:
                            take it like a trooper
                            stiff upper lip
                            keep it together
  don’t let your mouth say these things
don’t let your comfort be selfish cruelty
                                    let them shriek
                                      let them sob
                                         don’t be
                                        a coward 
                                       about love

From While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by CAConrad. Used with permission of the author and Wave Books.