Poetry

Dispatch #062

Groundhog Day

by Valerie Sopher

after Ben Lerner

the endless loop of living
		another sea-tossed sleep
another morning lying
in bed penciling in Sudoku squares
another sheltering day of
can’t get over it, can’t get out of bed
		can’t go anywhere anyway
affirmations on the deck
the daily rewrite

turn a page. Sometimes
		the whole day you don’t
write memories. yesterday's already forgotten
sometimes you read ahead
if she kills him off...
the same To Do list in pencil
		sometimes sobbing yet
he’s still talking on page 286
		sometimes relief

cries from a place you don’t want
		to go to on a good day
but then he does die
you can't get over it
imagine what comes
sometimes only a masked stranger
		who moves to the other side of the street
the endless loop of living
		repetition is an underlying condition

numbers drown out thoughts
		faded, the murky promise
of another erasable day
sometimes a check mark
go anywhere anyway. Hear the sound
of your vulnerable aged voice
		tomorrow is
the story ends now
		turn the page

Descent

by Valerie Sopher

outside my window
tree leaves play tag with the wind
carrying the smoke scent
		of burnt letters

the Governor’s hair grows grey
counting cases and containment
white dry lightning
		streaks across

the Governor has puppy
skin folds under his eyes
		from solace less sleep

I know no sleep
fierce nightly battles
against a firewall of misspelled words
		burnt letters
descenders descending
to places they shouldn’t go
		numbers shout warnings

disjointed dreams
the meter’s running out of sleep
wake in twisted rope sheets
		more fatigued than

in the afternoon I drink
chai tea tasting of lands
		I’ll never know

satellite beams
fire smoke traveling
across the country
		to the Atlantic
an electorate inflamed
a president growing fat
from lies high in calories
		a cup stamped visa denied

liberty flickers
outside my window
a monarch rides
		with the wind
fire-flamed wings dotted
with blinking landing lights
		descending

sent to us: 12/5/2020

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