Three Poems by Clint Margrave

My Colleague Dies during Covid

The email says that they don’t have
any other contact information for her,
that there won’t be a funeral,
that there’s no address to send flowers.

“I wonder if anyone has a photo to help
us put a face with the name,” somebody
writes in the thread.

But what is a face in an age of masks?
What is a name?

*

A Poem Is a Grave

marked by words.

You have to dig deep
to find its bones.

You have to bury
yourself in it.

*

Destroy Unread

I heard that the famous novelist
wrote this on one of his notebooks
before he died.

I guess it’s only natural
to want to sanction the narrative of your life
after you’ve gone,
especially if you’re a writer.

When my father died,
he left no instructions
for a literary executor,
much less for a grieving son.

*

Clint Margrave is the author of the novel Lying Bastard (Run Amok Books, 2020), and the poetry collections, Salute the Wreckage, The Early Death of Men, and Visitor (Forthcoming) all from NYQ Books. His work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Rattle, and The Moth, among others.

A Poet’s Mother Dies from Covid by Le Hinton

A Poet’s Mother Dies from Covid

No one inherits eloquent words nor leases the brilliance
of a perfect sonnet transcribed onto parchment in blue ink.

I speak no language that elevates each syllable so that every
word will be remembered alongside the dead.

It is a myth that poets possess inexhaustible grace
and passion, or feel more deeply than other human bodies.

There is no hidden box, dovetailed jointed, stained and polished,
that holds the perfect magic of metaphor and meter.

There is only a man standing mute over granite,
only a boy who misses his mom.

*

Le Hinton is the author of six poetry collections including, most recently, Sing Silence (Iris G. Press, 2018). His work can be found or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry 2014, The Progressive Magazine, the Skinny Poetry Journal, The Baltimore Review, The Pittsburgh Review, and outside Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.