“the things that are left behind” – Poetry by Joyce Chong

Rind - M.C. Escher, 1955
Rind – M.C. Escher, 1955

Joyce Chong explores the remnants of loss in her powerfully moving poem “the things that are left behind,” one of two exquisite pieces she contributed to our Fall 2015 issue.

{ X }

AMONG OTHER THINGS: the fruit rind
ground down to the white,
the voices of my mother’s grandmother,
and little hauntings like
wind chimes on the ceiling
in the bedroom.

among other things:
the rooms to be cleared,
secrets, trinkets,
this silence. the things
that you did not take with you.

i’ve learned to count loss
without time, without
a metronome;
it’s everything immediate,
and everything scabbed over,
the sensation of a wound
healing and then fading;
mis-remembering is
as inevitable
as every breath
that comes next
from lung
to mouth
to sky.

loss is a syntax
that never takes long to learn.

{ X }

ndsbrt500JOYCE CHONG lives in Ontario, Canada where she writes fiction, poetry, and other types of lies surrounded by farm land and wine country. Her work has appeared in Cool Skull Press’ Goddessmode anthology, (parenthetical), and untethered magazine, with work forthcoming in Noble Gas Qtrly and Liminality. You can find her online at joycechong.ca, or you can follow her mundane (and occasionally excessive) tweeting at @JoyceEmilyC.

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