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Friday, October 18, 2019


by Ariana D. Den Bleyker

“But the American people are begging us for more than thoughts and prayers, they want an answer, and guess what? They want it now, because they know that this is a critical moment in our history.” — Elijah Cummings

The world is vacant for a moment,
grief a womb of air—
but how it lives through love,
the hunger for an abundant & eternal life—

even when it seems impossible to hope.

Today the fallen leaves sleep on a lake
from a wind waking the trees.
A voice shivers under the calm water & firm ground
to shake the faltering stars.

He offered his heart to our hands.

His words stay awake in the remaining raindrops
of an endless night; forbidden morning.
There’ll be no harvest here to reap.
There’s no one left to till the land.

Beneath the soil a farmer sleeps.

Close your eyes to the color
of the world & live your life
in black & gray. Love transcends
the empty room wishing you were here.

Real heroes are men of peace.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. She is the author of three collections, including Wayward Lines (RawArt Press, 2015) and many chapbooks including, most recently, Scars are Memories Bleeding Through (Yavanika Press, 2018), A Bridge of You (Origami Poems Project, 2019), Even the Statue Weeps (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2019), and Confessions of a Mother Hovering in the Space Between Where Birds Collide with Windows (Ghost City Press, forthcoming 2019). She is also the author of three crime novellas, a novelette, and an experimental memoir.