jamie j. mortara



you are crushed and you are dazed

    over the wheel

    of your new car

and you think how fast

    these bones forget

    their shapes

        how fast a turn

        becomes a stray arrow

        in a tree’s bark

it’s not done   you tell yourself

        no white light rushing behind your lids

        no black cloak in the rearview

but the blinking light from the dashboard grows larger and it grows louder

    until you are inside a glowing cloud of yellow

you see all the people you know

       they hold their yellow heads

       they pull their lemon-rot teeth

they dig through yellow rooms but can’t find any part of you

                  they peer under the bed

           they rip through the dresser

           an entire closet pours open with yellow

your mother turns yellow

amazing grace plays on piano     backwards


around your mother they hold their yellow hands out empty in a circle

     it’s all we could find    they say

     bury him with these.


JAMIE J. MORTARA is a friendly ghost in Boston, MA. jamie j. mortara runs VoicemailPoems.org on the internet. jamie j. mortara has a book called Small Creatures / Wide Field out through The Newer York. jamie j. mortara has a new book called some planet that will be available through YesYes Books in February 2015. jamie j. mortara wants to know if you’d like to share a bag of pretzels?