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Poetry

Brendan Bense

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Brendan Bense is a recent American University graduate with a focus in creative writing and poetry. His work has been featured in Columbia Journal and The Crab Orchard Review.

After Tragedy

Let that bad memory exit your head;
open a window and feed it to the draft.
Think of nothing until nothing

strangles you. Go back to the sand of the beach
you knew as a kid and act surprised
it has changed. Sift through the beach
like you’ve lost your wallet and turn up

empty; there are no answers there. Go back
to the window and beg to remember
and try to steal your tragedy back when the clouds
vanish. Cry when that cold murky feeling

overwhelms you. Write. Re-write.
Water your plants and squeeze your head
of all its tired sunshine. Argue, back
pedal, listen; pause when the wind

offers you the tragedy back. Live without
god and forget your promises.
No one will notice if you slouch
more; give excuses to the dirt

and scream so the clouds
are stuffed with your words:
Things have changed.
Things have changed.

Sit in the storm of your tragedy.
Ruin the nice suit and keep
your pockets turned out till you are
certain you’ve given everything away.

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