Featured Poetry Winter 2021

When the Car Stops in Gambier, Ohio

by Jiyoung Jeong

Lumped silence until the intersection,
where the car sputters
beneath your feet.
Next to the faded yellow line you stop,
pull out a flashlight, open
the hood bonnet. We stand like the earth is eggshell,
we don’t move, we shoulder a wet black sky

like we are afraid to wake it up. Your arm touches mine
and I am afraid to wake you from this daze, the same daze you had

when we found her. Mother, an accident sprawled horizontal
next to a bottle. We left her muscles to die — when

should they be left to die? You and I stood, unable to touch mother —
she might regret her last violence
to the world, a big whopping fuck-
you. Now she lay

as still as a painting, we were the viewers, we were
the critics, I stared and felt ashamed for it,
like I was watching her undress.

Then she was peeled
from the floor, all five feet lifted
into arms of men neither you
nor I knew and she slid away
to a world where we have not lived. 

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