poem for this particular fear

at the mummy exhibit in hartford, we see typhoid babies
wrapped in the exact garments they died in–
doll-like dresses, bows in their hair.

my ma says the clothes scare her more than the flesh.
if it was just a body you could forget it ever lived,
like pork or piles of skulls stacked in phnom penh.

so we go on like this, ignoring that the underwear,
the socks, my new boots, could be the ones i take with me
into a glass case of an exhibit hundreds of years from now.

holy shit, i say out the car window into the smog stacks
just beyond the city. i am nearly gone.

About the author

Brendan Walsh has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work appears or is forthcoming in The American Journal of…

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Issue 25 - Spring 2022

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