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When They Die We Change Our Minds About Them
When they die we change our minds about them. While they live we see the plenty hard they’re trying, to be a star, or nice, or wise, and so we do not quite believe them. When they die, suddenly they are what they claimed. Turns out, that’s what one of those looks like. The cold war over manner of manly or mission is over. Same person, same facts and acts, just now a quiet brain stem. We no longer begrudge his or her stupid luck. When they die we change our minds about them. I will try to believe while you yet breathe.
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a historian and poet. She is the author of three poetry collections: Who Said (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); Funny (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005), winner of the 2005 Felix Pollak Prize; and The Next Ancient World (Tupelo Press, 2001), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award and the Tupelo Press Judge’s Prize in Poetry. She teaches at The New School and lives in Brooklyn, New York.