Fall/Winter 2020 Issue

elegy for another small town tragedy

Divyasri Krishnan


Afterwards they shuttered the houses. Afterwards

             the river boiled over; all the old half-decayed skin of past

   lovers bloated & stretched out like pocked fishnets, like milkfat, &

                            finally like the membrane it was, allowing only vague threats,

                  bulging like a swollen belly deciding whether or not

                                            it was pregnant. Like a planet deciding

                     whether or not                   to blow. 


     They who had never gone where [ ] went said

                           [ ] was happy, said the blood fled her body

                 to make room for light. Said Death’s a good man, kind, owns a plot

in the community garden. Grows gardenias, grows small arboreal mammals

                                        from teeth, grows bones, replacements for

                      lost bodies. If we severed an arm

                                                    or two, each, we’d have enough to make her

              breathe. Come rising from the froth like Venus, by tragedy,

                                         reborn                         free.


    In the tunnel of light; in the soft circling down of light;

           in the sweet-milk spinning out of light 

                         [ ] ceased. In the dawn of light swallowed;

                                                    easy—reduced to the smallness of her body,

                 soft, the flesh and flickering seaweed. In the swan of light

 a monument. In the winging of light a rustle. A bone of song. In the birth of light

                   the eyeless watchers learned to smile; the mouthless mourners

                                 dried their eyes; the hollowed folk spoke in cotton

            and said i miss you, i’m sorry, 

                                                        i loved you                 like life. 

Aiden Robert Jones