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TABOO

 

by Mary Ann Honaker

                                                                                      

 

This room is so empty.

Outside, the wind is knives,

from the north, the kind

 

that has a little damp in it,

that lingers in your hands.

It's no weather for cats,

 

but my cats are out there,

side by side, in the earth.

Once I had a little family.

 

Now the candle flame is playing

a doubling game with the panes

of glass, making two sets of eyes

 

set side by side, hovering over

the place of their remains.

In the day, the sun shines

 

into one crate making slats

that look like two white paws.

They are too much here,

 

too much with me.

You don't talk about things

like this.  Grief is for

 

big losses only: your parents,

your friends, your spouse.

It's for human losses only.

 

I'm not allowed to write

about this, about them,

but I hear soft purrs

 

in the night that resolve

into the air handler's hum.

My hands are so empty.

* * *

Mary Ann Honaker is the author of Becoming Persephone (Third Lung Press, 2019), and Whichever Way the Moon (Main Street Rag, 2023) along with the chapbooks It Will Happen Like This (YesNo Press, 2015) and Gwen and the Big Nothing (The Orchard Street Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Bear Review, JMWW, Juked, Little Patuxent Review, Rattle.com, Solstice, Sweet Tree Review, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Beaver, West Virginia.

TUSKEGEE REVIEW

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