grief being somewhat symmetrical
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.