Visiting My Son in the 14th Year of His Death

In the palm of night, in a rundown house
at the edge of town, I enter your room, find you
in bed with a coven of small, broken machines,
one clamped to your head, another to your chest,
the rest strewn across your sheets—you,
fussing, tinkering with their oily switches,
then searching, it seems, for the right pieces
of metal to mend them: these contraptions
you’ve built and halfway believe
might save you, give you a reason to go on.
But as you reach into shadows and swipe
at shelves, shake coffee cans and old dusty jars,
a loaded 9mm clip drops to the floor.


Was it my fault, or merely a misalignment
of orbits? I, pegging along with Earth, you close by
in sleep, at dawn shooting your way to Mars.





Justin Hunt grew up in rural Kansas and lives in Charlotte, NC. Fluent in German and Spanish, he has won several awards, including 1st place in the Live Canon International Poetry (U.K.) and Porter Fleming Literary competitions, 2nd place in the River Styx and Strokestown (Ireland) contests, and commendations from such journals and organizations as New Ohio Review, New Letters, and Robinson Jeffers Tor House. Hunt’s work appears in various publications, including Barrow Street, Five Points, Michigan Quarterly Review, Arts & Letters, and American Literary Review, among others. He is currently assembling a debut full-length collection.

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