The Measuring

By Veronica Corpuz

A married life is measured:
each grain of rice, coffee bean, and tea leaf,


ice cubes crackling in a glass of water upon the nightstand,
even the pinheads of steamed broccoli,


every hour of sleep lost when the baby is born
each hour you slept in before him,


the time you say, I am going to remember this walk forever
the neon color of lichen after a long, hard winter,

how your son wobbles, falls down,
how you swoop him off the ground.


Until you walk into the Social Security office,
until you see the words printed in dot matrix—


the date your marriage begins, the date your spouse dies—
until you see what you did not know declared in writing,

then, you have new language for this feeling—
how your heart has become a singularity:


Your marriage has ended in death.

Veronica Corpuz is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic workshop of Carlow University and a member of the #notwhite collective in Pittsburgh. A former program assistant for the Poetry Project in New York, she is a graduate of Brown University and the MFA program at Naropa University. Her first collection of poetry, The Widow’s Calendar, was a finalist for the 2019 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and 2020 Airlie Prize.

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