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1974 by Raisa Imogen | Word Riot

June 21, 2016      

1974 by Raisa Imogen

dear mickey / you are beautiful / i wish i had more / to say but / dear mickey / my father /remembers you laughing / in a white kitchen / in a wood house / i am older now than he was / when / mickey / the prayer of your spine/ became / a suspension bridge / snapping / and mickey/ the first time /they said bazooka/ i thought / bubble gum /they meant/ stirrup pin / hammer / plunger spring / caliber /but I think/ we both meant / a wide jaw opening /and mickey/ i’ve been awake /for an era / whose view hasn’t changed / just flesh /and more flesh/ and some doors closing /and i wish i could have / saved you from / backwards blooming / and mickey/ did you know/ that there are four versions /of every day/ one i am alive /one i am not / one you are alive /one you are not /and mickey/ how come /when the snake comes / no mouse thinks / regret / but who am i / to say / it doesn’t understand/ the way / the world works / maybe the mouse thinks /loss/ maybe the mouse / thinks / bubblegum /maybe the mouse / would understand/ your family’s love / like a dry fist / unclenching /like a flower/ opening / in the place / where your footprints stopped / that night/ of wood-smoke / so strong that when / I toss my hair / in a white kitchen/ i smell it /still / and mickey / please tell me /about the teeth of the earth /about the/ wave and waves / of red salt / of dead sea/ and that beautiful thing / that i want / will it happen? / mickey/ will it shatter / violently? / tell me /mickey/ how can i live / in the world / so i do not / lose it 

13221074_10156926677555273_7655567411812181625_nAbout the author:

Raisa Imogen was born in Portland, Oregon, grew up in Chicago, and is currently a student at Bowdoin College. Her poems and essays can be found at The Kenyon Review, Best Poem, The Manifest-Station, The Bowdoin Orient, and at

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