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  • Say Forgiveness
  • Conor Bracken (bio)

is a bone you dig out of your bodywith another bone

because how else can I describethe kind of time it takesforgiveness to thicken inside a body

which is divided into varioushalf-heartedly warring nations

a dry forest waitingfor the sky to blush

a parking garageringed with shopping carts

this carpet of fire ants floatingover the river for as longas they cling to one another

and the river which is steadyand lends its name to the rainthat scrambles its face

while forgiveness thickensslowly underground like

some dumb potato [End Page 60] you would dig forif you knew where it was planted

except it's not a potatoit's a bone and the spadeyou're fathoming the loamand stone and mud with

is also bonewhich you've used so muchyou keep needing to replace it

which is why all the birdsfrom the body's many scattered nationsare gone

by which I mean I am making

the silencemusic needs in order to break [End Page 61]

Conor Bracken

Conor Bracken has recent poems appearing in the Colorado Review, Diode, Indiana Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. He is the author of Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour (Bull City Press, 2017), selected by Diane Seuss as winner of the fifth Frost Place Chapbook Competition, and is the translator of Mohammed Khair-Eddine's Scorpionic Sun (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2019).



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pp. 30-31
Launched on MUSE
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