By Mike Wright

Featured Image: View of Toledo by El Greco, 1599-1600

I leave the World Service
on at night, snoozing through
the British iteration of gang rape
and kidnapping. I’ll stir sometimes
to hear a few moments of economic
collapse, but it’s really white noise,
blanching the laughter of drunks outside.
Sleeping to tragedy helps tamp down
my father’s last days, his morphine speech,
how my mother sent me to Kentucky
Fried Chicken with a coupon
for his last meal, and how shame
drove me to throw the coupon out.
If his death were broadcast in the night,
his of thousands of dying fathers,
and you slept well, how could
I begrudge you a night of rest?

Mike Wright is a poet and professor living in Columbus, Ohio. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hunger Mountain, Paper Nautilus, Lake Effect, Kestrel, Gigantic Sequins, and Other Poetry. He also helps coordinate the With Poetry Reading Series.

Originally appeared in NOR 17

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