The Stories I Told After the War

by Michelle Reale

 

Were meant to entertain, not instruct.   Still, I tried to convince.  The  laughing like broken fingernails playing a ballad on a mandolin: you know what you hear but can’t describe the sound.  The body will blush under assault, but that is something felt, not necessarily seen and so won’t hold up in a court of law.   Men in suits claim they are trying to make progress for everyone, but I am still waiting.   I am not everyone.  I am not even me.  The  season that the orange fox roamed my neighborhood,  I took it as a sign and warned the others.  The constellations became faint and the  few things  left in my garden continued to grow, but underground  A generation of dead animal carcasses will never go hungry again.  Above ground I spoke with the parched voice of the already damned, the mistrusted and ultimately forgotten.   There were a lot of stories being told .  In one it was said that there are two types of people left after any military skirmish:  The people who tell the truth about the oppressive regime that they’ve escaped, and the people left behind who lie to themselves in order to endure it.   And everyone remains hungry, all the same.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Reale is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent Birds of Sicily by Aldrich Press. Her collection The Marie Curie Sequence is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press in March 2017.
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