Friday, April 4, 2014


Those whom the news has not yet reached
sit in the house
where you once soundly slept,

over greens and brown
rice, healthy in middle
age, considering

whether to put to sleep
the dog whose flatulence
shows her kidneys

to be kaput. Those
whom the news has not yet
reached do the dishes

themselves, the man
and the woman, dividing
the labor

equally, slowly, here
they bring the
mismatched dishes

up to the sink,
the counter of sparkling
granite, pink

from a cliff that faces the sea.
They have been talking about you,
and your age

is what they have been
talking about, your favorite
food, what to give

you for your
birthday, how to
celebrate the Fourth

of July with you,
when to see you next
if not the holiday.

His beard, his pointed
intellect, his compassion, the country
of his birth, his birth, her

bright, brown eyes
a shade less dark than

bark, her desire
to ask questions, her need
to possess whatever happened

to you, her shape.
The news hasn't reached them yet.
And they sit,

by the pond that asks for
many adjectives, considering
your future,

with the leisure of gods.

– Katie Peterson, from The Accounts (University of Chicago Press)