You Will Find the Only Answer by Jacob DeVoogd

You Will Find the Only Answer

In the crush
we are riots.

Forgotten cities,
burned atmosphere.

Let us make it one more
hour. Day. No,

let us be forgotten.
Viaducts and underpasses.

Years-old tents like rotting husks,
backpacks pinned to rusted fences.

You can recycle memories.
I promise.

Take your hands,
dig out legends our grandmothers shared

some long,
long time ago.

Maybe when our bodies were commas,
tomorrow decades away.

Shovel from inside and chant:
a creek. A sycamore.

A bridge, collapsed.
Glass shards and swamped shoes.

Instructions: first, wade.
Dunk your head.

Hold your breath.
Open your eyes long enough,

and you’ll see yourself.
How you look.

How you taste.
Who you’ll be, all resolved.

The day I swam in muck,
I held my breath,

closed my eyes,
and decided not to look.


Jacob DeVoogd is a graduate of the MFA program at Western Michigan University. His work can be found in Flint Hills Review, Dodging The Rain, SOFTBLOW, and Ghost Parachute. He placed second in the 2017 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition, has twice received honorable mentions from Glimmer Train, and received the Gwen Frostic Fiction Award. Born in Detroit, Jacob lives and works in Chicago. He experiences Bipolar II Disorder.