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In which I remember I do not have a child but I have been one

I try to replant the sky. Reply to it like the crackling

architecture of autumn. It’s early in the season,

hot as bone. The oven is turned on. I’m afraid of fire,

so volatile. Tonight,

the parents seem smarter

and sadder. I drive

home, dreading

home, the moon covered

in plaque, very

miserly, very shy (I tell you now

I always have been). I cannot write

about Mother, combing out hair 

in autumn sun: she is alive and very tense – the arguments

I overhear each morning, Mother and Father

standing in the kitchen like snowstorms. When I was born,

my father misread maps. I felt it was my career,

to live in fear of some sort of divorce. My mother

had no father.

I make up gardens

and seasons. The birdhouse

has been toppled over.

Which is a more empathetic way

of saying it has been destroyed. I claw into walls like an ant. Trim

small steps across

peelings of water. A friend – she is also a poet – tells me

that everybody thinks

in wrongdoings. In recurring dreams,

my grandfather touches my chest

and that’s that. I don’t want to write

another lie. I do anyway.


Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Tupelo Quarterly, Gordon Square Review, and elsewhere. Her debut collection, “all these urban fields,” was published by nothing to say press. She is an MFA candidate at Saint Mary’s College of California and currently lives in Oakland, CA.