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Thursday, January 26, 2023


by Jonathan Yungkans

Of my country and of my family I 
have little to say that hasn’t been either
rent or splattered upon. Bone fragments and dots 
of brain create paisley Rorschach patterns in
the fabric of my conscience. Let’s allot the 
dappled cotton skein to drape figures gone
more statue than statuesque. Children, how you 
bleed. You shape garnet- and wine-colored mud pies
and smear them against your faces and clothes 
to blend with earth, ashes to ashes, bullets
to dust, all the pretty bodies going down.

Author’s note: Title taken from the poem “The Handshake, the Cough, the Kiss” by John Ashbery in the collection A Worldly Country.

Jonathan Yungkans juggles writing and photography with work as an in-home health-care provider, fueled by copious amounts of coffee, while finding time for the occasional deep breath. His second poetry chapbook Beneath a Glazed Shimmer was published by Tebot Bach in 2021.