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Tuesday, August 18, 2020


by Marsha Owens
“Sorted” by Pia Guerra at The Nib, August 17, 2020.

Blue mailboxes thrown onto truck beds
helter-skelter like toy soldiers tossed
onto a playroom floor, except I see
pictures—this is not make-believe—
but a real-time story much like the one
Anne told in her diary except by this point
in Germany trucks and trains carried people,
her father, other fathers, mothers, gone
to god knows where, and still Anne
believed her father would come back
someday, just stroll through the door
like coming home from work. . .but
we all know that’s not how her story ended.
So where is the mailbox graveyard?
Is someone burying
these mailboxes
next to Democracy
and the 2020 election—
they were such a fine
couple in new jersey just
a few days ago—but now
they lie close to my friend
who died from COVID-19,
just across from
Sweet Liberty
and Blind Justice
in a spot near
an eerie gravesite
that echoes
a lament into each
dark night,
i can’t breathe.

For her bio, Marsha Owens samples Nikki Giovanni: "I've been considered a writer who writes from rage and it confuses me. What else do writers write from?"