(for Elizabeth Bachinsky, with a line from Maggie Nelson)

All our poems now are for people we know
And our babies. It’s 1846. In the North
Charitable Infirmary, the musical society plays
“The Bells of Shandon” for the women of Cork
Who are so hungry their bellies recall
Those late days of pregnancy. “Men bore me,
Especially Great Men” is what I wish
I’d said to a woman I was trying to love once
With books and fucking. But all I know
About books and fucking is that they change,
And I’m tired of men going on about men.
If loneliness is solitude with a problem.
If I’m scared alonely. What did they do
With all those babies and people we knew?

This appeared in the October 2015 issue.

Matt Rader (mattrader.com) has published numerous collections and chapbooks, including A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle Over the River Arno.

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