Lisken Van Pelt Dus
is a poet, teacher, and martial artist, raised in England, the US, and Mexico, and now living in Massachusetts.
Her work can be found in several anthologies, in such journals as Conduit
, The South Carolina Review
, and upstreet
, and in her chapbook, Everywhere at Once
(Pudding House Press, 2009).
—Back to Interiority Contents/Issue Links—
Grief in the Partitive
As if it were a cake from which
you’ve been served a slice: some grief.
Or liquid in a pitcher from which
you’ve been poured a glass: pulpy
and cloying. Uncountable: grief
smudged on your face, smeared
on your fingers. As if it were singular—
an only grief—but indistinct,
its outline blurred like a horizon
lost in cloud, or a favorite tree
swallowed in forest. As if incomplete
and ongoing: you are experiencing
grief today, grief tonight, grief
tomorrow. As if it were something
you loved: you desire this grief.
Tentative, as if it were something
you had asked to borrow. Derived
from the ablative: you understand
you come from grief. As if the result
can’t be known: you aimed at grief,
but without snow to blanket the woods
you can’t track it. As if it were
absent: yesterday, there was no grief
in your house. As if to create a future:
you discover you will be this grief.