CHRIS WHEELER

I. THE TASTE OF EARTH

My children eat sand,
a curiosity turned
granular, just like I did
when I was their age,
and that is why, my child,
I hope you’ve learned
your lesson, don’t go
around eating what we’re
made of, it’s not
palatable.


IV. THE IMPACT OF WATER

I feel rain coming.
The light dims but it’s something above me
casting shadows. I am immersed in clouds,
fracturing into mist and drizzle, a collapse.

I am writing in my journal about
I am posting a picture of
I am arranging my schedule around
I am living my life because

I feel rain coming.
Steady the ominous
death of sun and
warmth for the sake of

but I wasn’t ready.

The wind blows it in, and like it I am wild
with terror at the thought - a thought that
alone I am nothing that
with others I am nothing that
I will always be nothing that
the rain will come to nothing as
the ground is filled with nothing.

Nothing stirs before the storm,
within the eye, except a
solitary
bird
song,
distant,
choked out before the petr-
ichor, I am inhaling other people’s
dust and smoke and breath
the things that only I
know of them, the downpour

and I am not good enough alone,
I never will be,
but the rain falls on your headstone
and the same rain falls on me.


CHRIS WHEELER is a poet and storyteller from northwest Indiana. His work includes poetry, liturgy, plays and creative nonfiction, and is published or forthcoming in Barren Magazine, Fathom, Inwood Indiana, and Foundling House, among others. He is staff writer at a leadership development company. He lives in Middlebury, IN with his wife and four children.

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