Say Missing

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 AGNIBlackbirdBrevity, 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.