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.

Isabel MeyersRepeat

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Loss and Its Antonym

ALISON PRINE
I want to learn to write about the loves / that haven’t died—yellowed paperbacks / with broken spines, the stillness of the lake / from the fishing pier on winter mornings, / the people in this small city / I sometimes recognize on the sidewalk / a decade after our bar shut down.

June 2018 Poetry Feature

NATHALIE HANDAL
Because some words together / can frighten loneliness / like the lagoon moving aside / for the sea / Because you’ve chosen / the most crowded voices to hide in / Because you’ve chosen / the oldest wound to haunt you / Because I can’t show you / myself entirely