I searched all morning for the scientific name,
the point at which the earth is farthest from the sun:
Aphelion. Nearly a year, now, since your spirit flew.
I searched all morning for your childhood home,
drove past billboards and trailer parks.
Of course you left, to live where you can eat anything
and still wear plaid pants.
The earth wobbles on its axis
and the good among us are shaken off.
I searched this year for a meaning in your exodus—
your atoms flung far and stitched into everything,
while I remain corseted here on earth.
Because of you I break open each day
like a pomegranate, swallow
it all with gratitude—flesh, blood, and pit.
DENISE RUE’S poems have been published in Poet Lore, Inkwell, The Stillwater Review and Miller’s Pond, among other literary journals. She received her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught poetry in schools, nursing homes and a women’s prison. She lives in New Jersey and works as a psychiatric social worker.
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