Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

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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 


like a calendar 


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,


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.