NEWS OF MY DIVORCE REMINDS ME OF YOUR DEATH
Tonight I found out that I am divorced.
My second try at marriage, and it’s through.
Relief is what I feel most, mixed with pain, of course,
remorse, and just plain grief, which makes me think of you,
you who knew such sorrow in your life
and all the ways that love can come undone,
who was the first to call yourself my wife
and battled demons daily until they won.
And though I miss you hard tonight, old friend,
that’s not the only reason that I cry.
Rather, I know a marriage now can end
and there’s no need for anyone to die.
Lover, at last, please leave me, after all these years.
You have cried enough. Leave me to these tears.
—from The Whetting Stone
2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner
Taylor Mali: “In both of the books of poetry I published after Rebecca’s death I tried to include a few poems about her. But they were always so unlike the rest of the manuscript that they couldn’t stay in. I’ve known for a decade that all my poems about Rebecca would need to be published in a collection by themselves. The Whetting Stone is that collection.” (website)