Forecast

By BRIAN KOMEI DEMPSTER 

Far from our house, winding roads
and years away. I promised we’d never
bring him here. Behind black iron gates,
brick walls smothered with ivy. The three
of us. Watching fires of autumn. Sitting
at the edge of his bed. Our son, thirty-one. In
a place of his own. Wind whipping
windows. Leaves swept up. Through
the pane looking out. We were the points
of a triangle. A windchime. Now a straight
line. Birds in a row. His right fist gripping
Grace’s dress. Her fingers touching links,
his I.D. bracelet. He leans forward, breaks
the shape of us. This room
with cracked gray paint, the glass I raise
to his lips. So much thirst. One more sip.
The clock, its red arm ticking. We thought
we’d never have to. My hand on his hair,
leather shade, scent of honey. Be brave
I say. Sorry she whispers. Maples
blazing. Orange singeing us. One bird
left. His first room alone. In this home,
with those like him. We said he’d always
stay with us. Men in blue pass by, vanish
from the porthole in his locked
door. Without us, their hands soaping
his body. His armpits, crevices. Only
we touch him there. Fire coming toward
us, we must pull back. His hand reaching
out. The wind of the door brushing his face
as it closes.

 

Brian Komei Dempster‘s poetry collections, Seize and Topaz, have received several honors, including the Julie Suk Award, an NCPA Gold Award in Poetry, and a Human Relations Indie Book Silver Winner award. His poems have appeared in Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, and other journals.

[Purchase Issue 25 here]

Forecast

Related Posts

Headshot of Anne Pierson Wiese

Sharp Shadows

ANNE PIERSON WIESE
On our kitchen wall at a certain time / of year appeared what we called the sharp / shadows. / A slant of western light found / its way through the brown moult of fire / escape hanging on to our Brooklyn rental / building for dear life and etched replicas / of everything

box with art on the inside

The Most-Read Pieces of 2023

As our new year of publishing and programming picks up speed, we at The Common wanted to reflect on the pieces that made last year such a great one! We published over 200 pieces online and in print in 2023. Below, you can browse a list of the six most-read pieces of 2023 to see which stories, essays, and poems left an impact on readers. 

headshot of leo rios next to issue 26 cover

Podcast: Leo Ríos on “Lencho”

LEO RÍOS
Leo Ríos speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his his story “Lencho,” which appears in The Common’s fall 2023 issue.