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“Palimpsest” and “Roadkill”


The garbage men have not yet come,
but all of your refuse is assembled at the curb.

Look, there are the fragments that once resembled a whole,
a pastiche of our wreckage.

I have poured out all of my sorrow from the ash bin
and it is gone.

We are only Learning what the Greeks knew so well.

All words can be scrubbed clean
and over them new ones written.

There is no difference between a poetry Book and a prayer book.

Although I began as a prayer,
I am no longer an answer
or a child seeking answers.

I am seeking only new questions,
only new ways to survive the destruction,
to crawl out of the darkness
like a cockroach after the apocalypse.


Tonight I took a road tour of carcasses -
loves killed by too much speed
upon impact,
loves hollowed by either maggots
or growth

And some of them used to be me.

You will Recognize those by their cicada husks
demonstrating what one summer can do
how they were stretched beyond their limits
and abandoned.

The others you will recognize by the stench
and the movement.
Maggots tunneling their innards,
making new veins of traffic
ensuring that they won’t just rot into nothing,
that they will, at least, be nourishing to the soil -

almost faith
that something new will grow here.

I have driven my husk
past these pallid places
via accidental detours
and visits to people who live
uncomfortably close to recent graves.

I have seen their darkened windows,
seen hope dashed
doe-eyed against my windshield.

I have seen the mound of fresh soil,
noted that the maggots have been hard at work,
and I wanted to dig them up,
see if I could still recognize their lives.

But I was afraid
that I could never bury them again
in such a small place.

So I kept driving,
tried not to notice the roadkill flattened against the asphalt
or the way my skin was becoming coarse and loose,

tried not to notice how I must shed loves always like old scabs,
how some people think of this as progress,
but I just think of it as vulnerable.

There are so many of my layers to be stepped on
or crushed by fists that close too tightly,
always a danger
that every new skin might feel a little less like home.



Hannah Cushing is a self-proclaimed nerd, Mama Bear, and Bullshit Bandita. As high school English teacher, she is learning to perfect her super power – patience. She is a lover of poetry, truth in all its forms, beer tourism, sport eating, and learning to do pull-ups again. She lives in Minneapolis with the many books she compulsively buys faster than she can read them. When she grows up, she hopes to be what she is – only better. Her work has Appeared in Murphy Square, Nibble, Poets Online, and Xenith.

Photo by Keoni Cabral.

The post “Palimpsest” and “Roadkill” appeared first on Xenith.

This post first appeared on Xenith - Digital Literature And Other Nifty Things, please read the originial post: here

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“Palimpsest” and “Roadkill”


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