i was where i belonged


by Eli Sahm

locked up behind eyelashes 

impregnable as bars and pulsing through

the first time i saw my baby brother 

how i loved him so much 

like myself 

i wanted to kill him 

like my dad 

the therapist says 

i’m obsessed with oblivion 


when my dad was eighteen he found his dad 

hanging in the shed like a boring miracle

on a spring morning so green it hurt the face 


there’s no way to come remotely close to the immense everyday 

commonplace monstrosity of what actually happened


how when he opened the door the body wasn’t 

spinning slowly as i always picture it 

but the shed was so still 

that when he laughed 

face-to-face at the calm 

togetherness of the work boots 

the sound dropped from above 

outside him like he was sharing it

with himself

Eli Sahm received his MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was a finalist for the 2016 NC State Annual Poetry Contest and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Your Impossible Voice, Occulum, Rabid Oak, Show Your Skin, The Indianapolis Review, and Cotton Xenomorph.


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