Scott Ferry

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after confessing

to my wife that the reason i pace in the kitchen
and never do anything carefully
the reason every task scrapes the skin off my wrists
and the kindness out of my words and my touch
is because lately the anxiety holds my diaphragm taut
in broken harpstrings clinched in my own shaking fist
is because the sleep hasn’t slept
is because i don’t know how

and i’ve been drinking more than she knows
whiskey draining down my aorta
and once the numb stops
the frame of the room topples
on my throat again and my hands twist wires
into complex grunted phrases
wires which are meant
to play the slow steady music
or our love of my love for my children
but i don’t know how

so i end up crying as i open the fridge for a beer
and my wife tells me that i don’t need that
and she holds me even though i don’t deserve it
and my daughter watches me weep
half-hidden by the refrigerator door

the next day i text my wife
that i have eaten week old leftovers and i am not dead yet
and she texts back how do you KNOW we’re not dead
maybe this IS death
all i say is because it hurts here
but it hurts less when i feel her
feel her through this elastic wire
between us


Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in Panoply, The American Journal of Poetry, and Cultural Weekly, among others. He is a co-editor of Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor. His second book Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies was published in Fall 2020 by Main St. Rag.