Before the Roof Crashed In

by Deborah Bacharach

How I peered through the screen door
at the dinged up corner mailbox. For a sign
like a galumphing hippopotamus,
profligate, ornamented, scenic-route excessive,
I lived in hope.
I had a vision, a grotto
drugged with candles. All the nobodies joining the church
no dillydallying, not trying to dive into paradise
but sidestepping the downpour of death.
                                                         But now
for mocha chip placid in the freezer, I stab a screwdriver
against frost rowed up like pews. I strike, chip,
swear at the coils. I rip out my feathers, hurl myself
bloody against the shelves.
                                                          We nibbled
the passenger pigeon down the drain.

Deborah Bacharach is the author of Shake and Tremor (Grayson Books, 2021) and After I Stop Lying (Cherry Grove Collections, 2015). She received a 2020 Pushcart honorable mention and has been published in Vallum, Poet Lore, and The Southampton Review among many other journals. She is an editor, teacher and tutor in Seattle. Sally Lelong is a visual storyteller working in a variety of media that lend themselves to use in a conceptual framework. She lives and works in New York, and routinely exhibits her work in a variety of settings from print to thematic installations to street art.

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