Cutting Grapes After Orlando

James Hoch

You see, you must halve and quarter

the grapes you feed your young son

starting out in this not milk of a world

You must make the world small enough

it can pass through the smallness of his body

without lodging in the throat

But living is sloppy work

and the world resists staying small

Someday you will fail    You know this

And the boy will try to find his breath

And he will look at you, bluing for an answer

What is there to say?     You got nothing

But today is not yet    And not yet means

there’s time to cut the day into some luck

your son can crush on his tongue

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