by Jackie K. White
Facing it, you debate being told how light
the unbreathing body is,
when her blood, how heavy, her bone, are
gone now to stone.
On one side: her name, dates, a hopeful
verse. On the blank side:
what haunts you. What you imagine as
the final scene:
sterile bed, tubings, her shrunken shell,
then, the bed, empty
and you, not there. Now, you’re shrunken
too. She gains a stone; you lose.
Jackie K. White is the author of three previous chapbooks and the co-author, with Simone Muench, of Hex & Howl, Black Lawrence Press, 2021. A former professor of English at Lewis University, her poems, translations, and collaborative poems have appeared in such journals as ACM, American Poetry Review, Bayou, Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly, Hypertext, The Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, and Shenandoah.