Richard Quigley

Richard Quigley

 

STILL-LIFE WITH CHOKE PEAR

 

Conditioned by harm,
I was always told

Where to go
Or to not move at all.

Trust was a blood sport.
Hunger, heretical.

First, the defiance:
I was the lastborn

Thieved into speaking
Against the bright heel

Of the hound.
Then, the penance:

A sentence
Carved out in the jaw.

At my kindest, I am
Always to blame.

Not once
Did I want this

To be planted,
Let alone bloom.

____________________________________________________________________

BLACKOUT

 

When you left for the last time,
I stayed up all night waiting
For the hillside to give.

Then, hail.

Behind the gas station, I found
Our ghosts unraveling themselves
Out of aerosol-soaked rags.

The ghost brother, his face
As hideous as his sister’s.
We were hunted down.

Then, the world.

____________________________________________________________________

RICHARD QUIGLEY is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Columbia University. He lives and works in New York.

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