The National Poetry Review

Jed Myers


They can’t all be ready to enter the light
right away. The slight girl will keep running
down the demolished street toward her building
that like herself has just lost its shadow,

the tower of apartments now looking like sky smoke
and cloud—so intent is she on falling
into her grandmother’s arms she can’t yet

notice her own weightlessness, nor that she steps
through the collapsed beams. It’s like phantom
limb syndrome, but of the whole self gone
before gone can be believed. A father flies

toward Kyiv on a swift current of worried love,
sure it’s alright to head home as the fight’s gone dead
silent, not sure how he speeds fleet

as Hermes, not the least bit out of breath—
he’s filled with the world-breath he moves through.
And the Russian kid who’s just bled out, guts
on his lap in the truck, has opened the door and gone

looking for who’ll tell him what this war is
about. Or give him the time of day. He feels
as unseen as before he was born. Maybe

it’ll be the old woman after all, hovering
like a swarm of fine cake flour in the 14th floor’s
afterglow, who’s ready first, who’ll shuffle in those
fake-fur slippers—skimming the static

electricity’s little shocks up off the wall-to-wall
carpet like at our grandmother’s—down the hall
hung with love’s portraits, leading into the bright.

JED MYERS is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and four chapbooks. His work has received awards from Southern Indiana Review, The Southeast Review, The Briar Cliff Review, The Poetry Society, and others. Recent writing appears or is forthcoming in Rattle, The Poetry Review, RHINO, The Greensboro Review, Rust + Moth,, and elsewhere. Myers lives in Seattle, where he edits the journal Bracken.

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