by Lisa Fay Coutley
Make the sound of rain
& hail pounding water, rolling
boil, violent reunion of selves. The exit
wound keeps reinventing itself. Love’s
before & after. Say it’s possible
to be whole. It’s winter.
Stars shine even if I don’t
name them. Say he refused to leave me
alone so long I smashed every fragile
object in the room until no one could
cross the floor. Make a mural
from the shards. You’ll forget
the way it feels to stand beside a car
as it pulls away & care that someone inside
is going. Spring is no promise.
Every night you rest your glasses
on the bathroom sink & every morning
you find them on the couch.
Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of tether (Black Lawrence Press, April 2020), Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, and In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition. She’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Rona Jaffe scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent prose and poetry appears in AGNI, Blackbird, Brevity, The Cincinnati Review, Narrative, Passages North, Pleiades, and The Los Angeles Review. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry & CNF in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she coordinates the WRWS Reading Series and advises the student journal 13thFloor.