Most Things Die Too Soon, Living Takes Forever
I’ve decided to forgive myself my birth. It was inevitable,
accidental, and had so little to do with me. When I was young,
as I was for so long, we kept chickens for eggs. Warm summer
mornings I’d raid the coop then spend afternoons blinking sweat
from my eyes, skipping to dodge their shit on the sidewalk.
Most people never know what it means to eat the things they love.
Back then I was the same. My mother bought meat boneless and skinless,
so I learned to skin cellophane and styrofoam. It’s hard, almost impossible,
to try to keep a flock alive when you don’t plan to eat it. Hard
as it is to know which came first: the bloodstain or the egg. To catch one
in the act of dying, cackling in a fox’s mouth, and try to act
is to realize you don’t know how to save a thing. Still, I tried. Human,
just another word for mistake. Sights on red fur I pulled the trigger to.
The fox ran and yet, by tooth or by bullet, the hen didn’t breathe.
Still Life with Memory and Forgetting
When I was a child,
we used to walk to a park
not far from home.
I don’t remember
what it looked like--
I barely remember the house,
I was so young when we moved
—but I do remember
the way the road curved
downhill from our front yard
into a wide horseshoe
at the river’s edge,
and how it curved back up
on the other side.
The park was up there
on that higher plane
I no longer remember.
The road in memory
is a soundless,
I do not appear in this image.
There is no child
holding his mother’s hand.
There is no mother.
There is no walking, no body.
There is only the road,
the vision floating above it,
and the too-fast moving,
smooth, as if filmed
When I die
I will drift there, forever.
Daniel J. Pizappi lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is a PhD student, Managing Editor of Grist: A Literary Journal, and co-editor of the anthology Kentucky Writers: The Deus Loci and the Lyrical Landscape. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Dark Marrow, Still: The Journal, The Mantle, and Your Impossible Voice, among others. Visit him at www.danielpizappi.com. Twitter: @DjPizappi
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