What the Truth is Worth
by Lisa Caloro
- These are not confessions, they are bone
they are words trapped
in marrow that burn you
alive if left unsaid.
They are barn-burners, house-wreckers, black
cigarettes holes left in your mom’s new couch
after nodding out.
- They are dog-stranglers, son-smackers, the car flipped
in a field
as you flee,
a bleeding child in your arms.
- They are infidelity held in your mouth,
a sour tongue,
- the girl hit, closed fisted, in tenth grade homeroom.
I’m free with my truths
so others feel safe to tell theirs.
- A wounded world gapes behind the construct
of admissible truths
It undulates like knife accidents
viewed through tears, begs us to return,
beckons in the dreams we wake from alive,
- gasping, looking around.
You do not seek relief; you unpack
the bloody lunch,
still twitching, eye
- the unhinged gates of heaven.
The almighty absence is a cool breeze
- rattling useless latches.
You settle into the firepit,
cover a blanket of flames, un-
- pray for forgiveness.
Packingtown Review – Vol.14, Fall 2020
Lisa Caloro teaches college, writes, and bar-tends in a small Catskill Mountain town. Her poems have appeared in Evening Street Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and Slant, among other publications.