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after Museo de las Momias, Guanajuato, México, 1957 by Elliott Erwitt

the two of them bicker
heedless of the querulous dead
surrounding them
silently bellowing life’s too short

we’re deep in conversation
flanked by the clamorous dead
life’s too short to ever stop
conversing with you

he stabs a finger at her
he is pressing his point
her body arches away from him
she wearily plots her eventual escape

sometimes we talk about the dead
I’m not afraid to join them someday
when I can talk to you right now

they are locked in a struggle
that might bear them
inch by inch toward death

we are so alive amid the monoliths
tell me everything
I want to tell you everything

Gwynne Garfinkle lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in such publications as Uncanny, Lackington’s, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, and Not One of Us. Her collection of short fiction and poetry, People Change, is forthcoming in October from Aqueduct Press.
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21 Sep 2022

There is little more inspirational than a writer who devotes her talents to the work of others.
I was twelve when my mother was born. Twelve or thereabouts. If I’d been older, I could have said things like I never wanted to be a daughter; I don’t have a filial bone in my body. Relatives could have tilted their heads at me, insisting I’d change my mind. But I was twelve so I said nothing. I had no relatives.
a few miles from the fallout zone. / You double-check the index card
Unripe morning / cut open too soon
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