TJ Sandella

by T.J. Sandella

One of those still, grey days,
as if to whisper winter.

If there is a god
and he’s still around,

this is surely how he mourns.

I’d prefer something more extravagant—a plague,
a flood to wash away memory.

Wasn’t that Noah’s curse?
To remember?

Wasn’t that the point of all that water?
A forced baptism? A way for god to forget
his disappointments?

But I’m the stubborn child that won’t bathe—the one
mothers must pin down and scrub clean.

I’m the one who holds on to everything.

~ ~

Down at the bar, rosy-cheeked men and women
toast frosted glasses, and I imagine they filed in

two-by-two, the ting of a bell to announce their salvation.

But I’ve never been any good
at forgiveness, and a rainbow

is a half-hearted apology.
Whatever mistakes he’s made,
he’ll make again.

On an afternoon as still as this, we can be certain
nothing will ever change: god’s whims,
this nagging absence—

every day, someone celebrating.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 1.

TJ SandellaT.J. Sandella is the recipient of an Elinor Benedict Prize for Poetry, a William Matthews Poetry Prize, two Academy of American Poets Prizes, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. He lives with his puppy, Rufio, in Cleveland, Ohio, where he’s a soapbox spokesman for the Rust Belt’s revitalization.

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