Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

Fall Again; Before I Came to Know 
Fall Again

 

Finally, October

with its alchemy that turns gold to death.

 

When I walk at night

to see the undressed windows, 

 

illuminated scenes 

of children gathered 

 

around televisions, 

lone mothers 

 

rubbing their eyes 

at kitchen tables,

 

I wonder 

what is wrong with me 

 

that I would trade my life 

for different secrets, 

 

different hurts.

On my way home,

 

where the windows stay shut 

like coffins,

 

I look to haloed streetlamps

to guide me, follow 

 

the sycamores and oaks, 

those hapless giants

 

who suffer the slightest winds, 

like I do.   

Before I Came to Know 

 

Like a died down 

wind, 

like a calendar 

thrown 

in the trash,

there were days 

I gave up on love,

that little bird 

who didn't want me

for a cage.

 

There were days 

I knew for certain

God closed doors

to open wounds,

that every disaster

would end

alone and wasted

in a dark kitchen,

killed

by a litany of sad songs

from childhood.

 

When I needed 

dead ends to contain me

I drove to the river.

In the rearview mirror

I saw nothing but a blank.

 

Learned nothing

but to keep this news

to myself.

Mallory Rodenberg is a writer and mother from Southwestern Indiana. She's currently an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson, and her work has previously appeared in Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry.