Tuesday Jan 23

GabrielleMPeterson Poetry Gabrielle M. Peterson is a writer currently living in Chicago, IL. She reviews fiction for Midway Journal, and has work that has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Literary Bohemian, Chimes & Sirens, Eunoia Review, Triggerfish Critical Review, Front Porch Review, and Cider Press Review.

the poet died

and you can hear it in his recorded voice; the dinner bells
of death. hurry, the publishers thought: we need to capture

his sound before there is none left.
he was three months younger than me, and died

of the same cancer i was falsely diagnosed with when I was
ten. these are just coincidences that, like clouds, look like something

if you look hard enough. his voice gets shakier the later it is. i don’t know if chemo does
that, or if it’s cancer’s reputation throughout

the body; its parting song; or the voice box begging for removal,
a reprieve for the organ by which all your music has been made

possible. will we all become stuck? i used to pass by an abandoned
storefront every day. a bird had petrified between the glass

and the boarded-up wood. it never decomposed or changed.
maybe our words are incubators, protecting our abandoned bodies

from oxygen. keeping us here long after our bones have been eaten,
like yours were. like they predicted mine would be.

we are both still alive. two wave lengths, running parallel,
both confined to the universes of our little lyrics.

maybe we’ll one day find words stronger than bone.
maybe we’ve already found them.

leaving home

over coffee, my father closes the blinds. never mind the mountain.
we go through sugar fast here, and the toilet paper is always in supply.
to know the exact bodies you came from.
to put my head to my mother’s belly as she stands and i sit,
and i try to listen to her womb, to see if anything sounds
familiar. this is such a gift; to return.
my father leads me around the yard, shows me his cairns that he built himself
from stones he found in the desert. landmarks
are necessary out here, or there. preventing our dissolution
into the wild. how nice to know we can always find ourselves
if we want to.

tomorrow, i will leave. get into the car, and forget to pay attention
as we pull away from the house. this place won’t disappear
just because i do.