Wesley Carr CC
Fixing What’s Broken on Monday Afternoon
Sitting in a grey-back chair
in front of beveled glass, I open
my father’s dictionary.
The spine’s twine is stripped away
and its pages are full of crayon circles
around words like ferret and chariot.
When he died twenty-five years ago
and I couldn’t move on after three
my friend J said, “It’s time.”
Last night I had a dream I was cleaning
raw eggs spilling over the kitchen counter
onto bar stools, onto the linoleum floor. And
each time I’d wipe, the yoke would scramble
through the paper towels. I’m always trying
to clean up the messes left behind.
Always. Always. Always.
But “the ghosts that we knew
will flicker from view” and I’m sorry
he left before I could hear him say
“I’m sorry.” It’s 12:30PM on July 5th.
I’m scared that I will never be able
to clean everything that needs cleaning.
Because I love when the ocean cracks
over my feet and carries what’s broken away.
Chantel L. Carlson is a poet and playwright from Arlington, TX. She is an Instructor of English at Texas Christian University, where she teaches Modern Drama/Poetry, creative writing, gender studies, and film. Her poetry has appeared in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VIII: Texas, Writing Texas, Unlocking the Word: An Anthology of Found Poetry, and is forthcoming in The Louisiana Review. Her poetry chapbook, Turning 25, was published by Nous-zot Press. In addition, her one-act play, The Exhibit, was published by Next Stage Press, and her dramatic scene “Distance” was published in Writing Texas. She received both an M.A. and Ph.D. in English/Modern Drama with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She loves Mardi Gras parades. And crawfish etouffee.
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