“August” by CL Bledsoe

It always smells like August, fish
dying on a shore too far away to hear.
I wanted to tell you they found something
wrong in my brain, but I forgot you’d died.
That’s sort of what they found. How does
anyone sleep here? All of us are murderers
and none of us have anything worth stealing,
which is a kind of détente, I guess. But what
happens when one of us needs to keep
in practice? Someone’s been calling me
at home every Thursday. She doesn’t see
how broken she is because she doesn’t
know what shards look like. I’m not going
to be her glue, anymore; bodies don’t fit
together that way. I’m sorry they lied about
that. Every time I talk about back home, I learn
that something I believed was a lie. This
is why I don’t ask after you anymore. But
I miss believing in you.

Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in Love, and his newest, Grief Bacon, as well as the Necro-Files novel series and the flash fiction collection Ray’s Sea World. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue. He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

Image: “99 Cents” by Daniel Nester

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