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State Mandated Therapy Session

Two Weeks After Andre’s Suicide

I close my eyes before the face of the sun    & see dogs run    & men dance like house gnats
rounding out their turns above an abandoned cup of coffee    or Andre’s beckons for me
from across a playground    to tame the familiar thrill of the merry-go-round    or winter
plowed-snow-mountains we bungle together    with our puny bodies    somehow enamored
by our small claim of cosmos    until we goof to the ground    into the dimples of some
neighbor’s yard. Against the black velvet of my eyelids    a sea slides past wry rocks
as sun-spangled foam in rush    to the shore to swallow    the proof of our return to the land.
I remember myself    & mosey on from under the porchlight of his mother’s home
past the forget-me-knots of her garden    Andre once trounced in a game of manhunt
& I must not be looking to put on this simple smile    that though empty    should remain
behind the eight ball in my throat   so that I might remember still    the brief cracks of light
given by him as I now wane down this brow of hill    & into the trombone wails of a taxi
the moon shivers over. Nary a prayer or kissing of ribs    where Elisabeth invites me
to plant more than the jojoba & coconut I twist into her hair    nary a mosh pit on
the road shoulder    with mulch & prune of thorn sallies forth    any fancy of my youth
but only dreams of this town dying in its place

                            this his strip of street
                                                                                            this his hometown gutter.


Christopher J. Greggs is a Callaloo and Watering Hole fellow and was the recipient of the Goodman Poetry prize from the City College of New York. His work has been published in the Promethean Literary JournalGreat Weather for MEDIA, and TriQuarterly. He lives in D.C. with his fiancé Nadia.