grief being somewhat symmetrical

     Nicole Callihan

 

my grandfather could balance a spoon on his nose

 

or was that my father?

 

here is a bladder of warm water to ease your pain

 

here is a table improperly set

 

for a period of my youth my mother could not bear to look at me

 

instead of sitting across from her at the table

 

she asked me to sit beside her

 

that way my stomach doesn't turn

 

for a long time I believed this was a funny story

Nicole Callihan’s poetry books include SuperLoop (2014), and the chapbooks: The Deeply Flawed Human (2016), Downtown (2017), The Couples (a novella, 2019), and ELSEWHERE ( w/ Zoë Ryder White, 2020). Her work has appeared in Tin House, Sixth Finch, PEN--America, The American Poetry Review, and as a Poem-a-Day selection from the Academy of American Poets. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at Asterix Journal. Find out more at www.nicolecallihan.com.