Magnitude Grief

Audrey L. Reyes

The walls are incessant lurkers           tiny apartment earthquakes    licking open wounds

on concrete     shadows spent in corners        spider veins on once pristine walls

All this time     to stare and stare          and stare          at the mnemonics

and the dread   So I start naming the cracks above my bed

The big, bent one I christen after my mother's   fingers         clawing through

the raptured embrace         Motherhood now a tall tale we both ignore

Her reparations sit superficial on walls built by evangelists

bearing gashes deeper than Christ's               One I name after my father

what was thought to be the deepest    landed on a self-healing        partition

taking to space awarded           and time        The yelling doesn't have the legs

to travel the miles it'll need                  to find me again           Another           my sister

barely noticeable but intent     unkeeping        undead        resolute as that white

tick on the news           she ignored      sent     delivered sealed in

the last of my patience for her pride               All the other vines I name

after lost loves              stranger-friends                          those who’ve wronged me

those I’ve wronged                                those who've lounged              greedy

under the flaps of my eyes       dreams I've laid to rest   Though I stare long and briefed

the cracks remain wounds     lips opened and bereft              of forgiveness

One day these  may open into another  world  a blanket I can wrap myself in

from my appetite     for absolution   so the shadows in the walls can swallow my cracks

and swallow     and crack me open     like an earthquake ready                                     

to spill descent

About the Author

Audrey L. Reyes (she/her) is a Filipino poet, writer, and former early childhood educator whose favorite workplace activity is raising hell. Her work appears or is forthcoming in QUINCE Magazine, NECTAR, Anti-Heroin Chic, and several other literary magazines. She resides in Manila, Philippines.