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Upton Ave House: A Poem for the Closing

 
 
 
Here, my marriage opened

Like a pomegranate, my eyes

 

On each blood-slick jewel and not

On the empty spaces. Not on 90 years

 

Of wear on the woodwork.

Not on a porch slanting,

 

Bent deeply into its longing

For earth.

 

Here, my husband arched above my body,

Arms like the doorway

 

To a European church

That’s been filled with art

 

And bones, emptied

Of shame. Candles to give prayers

 

A flame. My body rose like a thin scar.

Here, our baby slept

 

On her wedge of rolled towel.

Her lips and chin moved through the night

 

Remembering comfort.

Here, our dog circled himself

 

Before lying down.

Outside, branches stretched above the roof,

 

Shuddering and helicoptering,

Leaves shadowing our house into

 

The eight dark rooms of two hearts.

 

 
 

Jennifer Manthey is an MFA student at Hamline University in St Paul. She has served as the assistant poetry editor for the Water~Stone Review, and is the current Associate Editor of Poetry and Non-Fiction for Runestone Journal. Her work has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Rise Up Review, Literary Mama, and Poetry City, among others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry in 2016.