"Regret Finds Us" | Poetry Contest | Indy Week

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"Regret Finds Us"



It seeped from a hairline crack,

Chewing with meticulous care

The photos of Father in a green parka

Waving, stepping onto a plane;

A sawdust porpoise souvenir

Leaking dry guts from adipose fins;

Notes from college loves, unopened;

And coin rolls long spent.

Through its pores a breeze sweat

Linty and warm, the smell akin

To the air which blows

From dryer vents on the outsides of

Houses--white glue--

Grade-school corridors in June.

Its movements in dreams detected,

Described in journals somewhere.

Though in sleep we'd suppressed it,

It had found its way, half-articulated,

Through waking's brief slit.

We tried turning and could not. Then,

Taking the last spent nickel down its throat,

It looked at us.

What could we give it

That it had not already taken?

We turned out our pockets--

Found nothing.

No use, our screaming.

It opened its mouth, screamed

Everything we'd been wanting to say

All our lives.

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