EVERY DAY THE SAME WISH
—after Elizabeth McLagan
Let this worn down sadness escape
like the milk moons in his near-empty glasses
from various ledges, I rinse and drain at the end
of the day, the week, repopulating the cupboard’s
Big Empty as if they have always been there.
It’s as if he’s always been there, that I could call him
from another room, and he would appear—my shining
boy now brittle as glass in a fog of meds and drifting
somewhere across town, the Big Empty of him, a mirror
of my heart breaking. His coming and going, a mending
and a rending. The scars have no time to heal—
like torn paper this worn down sadness.
Rachel Barton, poet, writing coach, and member of the Calyx Editorial Collective, edits Willawaw Journal, and co-chairs Willamette Writers on the River. Find her poems in Hubbub, Whale Road Review, Cloudbank, and other journals. Out of the Woods was released in 2017. Happiness Comes is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.