by Jordan Pérez

It demands to be
known. The gnats
in their conductor’s
dance. The extra leaves
in the table. The mole
belly-up in the pool.
The unchoked sob.
The white pants hidden
beneath the bed. The daffodil’s
hand from the dead.
The one occupied room.
The frog in the middle
of the kitchen. The strange face
in the mirror. The whiskey
in the underwear drawer.
The gasp in the sink drain.
The girl’s shirt
behind the shed. The trampled
lemon balm. The dance
or the fight. The bitter walnut
in the stomach. The smallmouth
bass on the dock. You are more
wife than my wife
says my father.

Finalist, the Poetry International Prize 2022

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