By: Maggie Dillow
He towed his feet, like dead bunnies, slightly, on a still day. He never tripped. He never quit smoking. He never stood still. I think of him like a forest now, stuttering: There are countless trees; I can only remember so many birds. He didn’t actually have a stutter, though. I started smoking again the very next day. The traffic was better. I wanted to know about air, time, what changes or doesn’t that make us think there’s enough of these things, what gave our mothers cancer, what gives vessel to the give-way vessel, what rhymes with domino, how they measure so many feet above the ocean, how he would know, how mechanics are like doctors, how he is neither, how I heard a cowbird that Sunday and hoped he didn’t. I could go on. He kissed my privileged little scalp one morning after I told him about the one thing, and that other thing, slightly, when he grabbed my forearm like a stem. Our conduit for sin was sin itself. But this is just a poem. It’s given.
I have, or will have, some poems published in the Blue Earth Review, 605 Magazine and Pasque Petals. I am currently working on applications to several graduate schools to complete my MFA in Creative Writing. I moved to South Dakota from Chicagoland in 2013, after waking up in the Badlands and thinking that maybe the Universe was calling me to the Black Hills. I was right. I worked for Child Protection Services for several years but now move a bit more slowly at the Department of Labor and Regulation, helping people with socioeconomic barriers gain employment. When I'm not writing you can find me in the woods. “This is a poem about so many things, in the following ways and in the following order: The physical act of leaving a space that one day became the only space you knew, the metaphorical act of leaving a space in which you never found stillness and continue to leave, the way we love each other in the aftermath, how our memories become less factual than what happened and more true, everything we find in the eventual stillness, the urge to keep talking, the bad things and the urge to keep talking, our human ability to think about our own thoughts and wonder if we should keep talking, the role of art in all of it and, least of all, how to not take when we are tired of being taken from.”