Repeat

by JOHN FREEMAN
I tell it so many times
on Tenth Street, over lunch
in a bar, to tender eyes,
it begins to sound
like a piece of news—

but once I decide
I’ll tell it how
it happened—
how she starved to death,
mumbled her pain,
clung, shat, moaned,
how I was too frightened
to sit with her
through the night
so she wouldn’t die alone.

[Purchase Issue 14 here.]
John Freeman is the founder of Freeman’s, a literary biannual, and author and editor of several books, including How to Read a Novelist. Tales of Two Americas, an anthology on inequality in the U.S., and Maps, a collection of poems, will be published this fall.

Repeat

Related Posts

Palm tree and building at dusk

Monsoon

URVI KUMBHAT
From my window I see a boy shaking the bougainvillea / for flowers. My parents talk of pruning it. They talk / of little else. The tree, spilling wildly past our house into / the gulley—where boys come to smoke or piss.

The Hundertwasser House in Vienna

Etude No. 2 and Etude No. 3

KIM CURTS MATTHEUSSENS
in Rome a monumental marble typewriter / ticked out their story into the sky: two lovers / devour time. she lay on the lawn near Trajan's / column. he plucked letters from her dress, / her hair, served them to her by hand, by mouth.

Image of an intensely green trailhead.

December 2022 Poetry Feature: Kevin McIlvoy

KEVIN McILVOY
On mine spoil. In debris fields / of asphalt and concrete and brick. / Upon sites of chemical spills. / Along lifeless riverbanks. / In clonal groves so hardy you / have to steel yourself for years / of killing to kill one acre. / Where construction crews rake off / the surface