Allen Forrest © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Where I go

I leave behind, a joke my parents brandished
at the table the last morning of my visit.
Leaving home is finding another buried
along the turnpike. I shift lanes,
a bouquet planted on the shoulder
a memorial made by accident,
a cross with no name. Life pauses
for no one, not even to learn
what it is we go by. In the rearview,
a mountain in red leaves. When I look,
branches have curved into sky,
a cloud in place of earth, the road
a new mile marker counting down
whether I drive or reverse, the distance
between me and my arrival a pluck of a harp,
a note that makes everything disappear
until it does.



            our director works on the chop board
releasing what took years to fruit

            and hours to digest our school
is closing he will tell us

            after we have eaten from the scalp
dangling in his hand by its hair

            he says it can grow again if planted
when I ask how to bury a skull

            and expect a body I mean make a living
thing out of husk the difference between us

            and the crown in his grip is we won’t come back
after gold has been stripped from us

            a head is not a seed a seed can be replaced
and yet I eat when he hands me a slice

            and the acid burns a sore into my cheek
and yet I eat another

Geoff Anderson
Copyright © 2017  

Geoff Anderson teaches English and Italian as second languages. He curated Columbus, Ohio’s first poetry show dedicated to biracial writers, “The Other Box,” and is a Callaloo fellow. His work appears or is forthcoming in S/WORD, B O D Y, Lunch Ticket, and

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