Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which was selected by Allison Joseph as a winner of the National Poetry Series. She teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Tampa, Florida.
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And What If I Spoke of the Hours
that we might’ve been together
at the union hall, with the beer
bottles and the night that didn’t fall
away? I might’ve saved you from
that car ride to the end of this calm
world. Would we have been happy?
The morning you died, I slept.
I got the kids up for school in the dark.
There were hours that I thought
you were alive. I keep thinking
about the cost of living. Your body,
unwrung and above me. Clothes
scattered like the hours you were
missing. What is happiness?
What I count on is the dark. The light.
Wanting to live anyway. The river
in my teeth and the reasonable grass
under my feet like someone I loved
once, impossibly alive.