Before Diagnosis



The lake is dead for a second time
this January. And no matter
how many geese lay their warm breasts
against the ice or fly across
its hard chest, it doesn’t break,
or sink, or open up and swallow them.
The ice is frozen water.
There is no metaphor for exile.
Even if these trees continue to shake
the crows from their branches,
my sister is still farther away from her mind
than we are from each other
sitting on opposite ends of a park bench
waiting for evening to swallow us whole.
In the last moments of a depressive, a sun.
In the last moments of a sun, my sister
says a man is chasing a goose through the snow.


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About the Author

Roger Reeves, Assistant Professor of Poetry at University of Illinois, Chicago, is author of the forthcoming collection King Me. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review.

Andrew Elliott,
The Killers

Molly Minturn,
Wake