On the days I don’t write poetry

My pen skids instead across a check; court fees covered, eviction evaded

I lock eyes with my best friend over her croissant and we explore practical, necessary questions, like

what kind of container can catch all the tears that fall from “this is…

Mythos

In the legend, homeless camps are erected under billboards extolling life at conception

a man opens fire on a politicized pulpit, the pastor maskless and undefended

the charter school principal blinks, astonished and vapid, at the question: how many students receive free lunch?

No such thing as free lunch

Dear Ruby,

I must have met you in 2014. That’s what I think, anyway. Time gets distorted in moments of grief and loss — and it’s not all that easy to track anyway. I know I’m saying this to a dog, whose sense of time is vastly different from my…

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping…

Last year, gardening was at an all-time high.

It makes sense.

As people were displaced from business-as-usual; asked to work at home, asked to eat at home, asked to shop from home, asked to avoid social gatherings, they must’ve been feeling evicted from their pre-Coronavirus lives. Maybe they were bored…

I am surrogate

sister

mother

aunt

niece

I am limited-edition

confidence

trust

faith

I am love like

coffee

sweetened with saccharine

and powdered creamer

not quite what they hope for

but

a superior alternative to

nothing at all

I never ask them

to open their wounds for me

it is…

I write poems for the dead
for the dying
for the marginalized
for the abandoned, feared, reviled
for the victims and the perpetrators, the sinners and the saints
the bereft and the afflicted.

I write poems for the janitor
brushing brooms in empty corridors after dark
The mother
with water-rimmed eyes…

Kristy Milligan

Truth teller. Grace giver.

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