The Noble Science of Trauma
            for my wife

I shower in the canopied jungle with wires of light
and rain; dry with strings of ears and scalps,
I step into your body, a mirror. My faces
sweat liquid only the dead can give up,
yet the mirror rips into a thousand scars,
the age of my eyes. I lie down in thin night,

in white phosphorous, until you remind me
that the light is from the stars, and the moon, over St. Paul,
breaking. I want to tell you how I try
to forgive this boy, but here beside you
this old man pulls the trigger as I hold
and cannot hold your beautiful hand. Turn
toward a burning face in the night’s window, blossom.





Stefan Lovasik served with U.S. Army Special Forces during the American war in Viet Nam. His poetry has appeared in various journals, including American Literary Review, Consequence, Folio, Hiram Poetry Review, and Pedestal Magazine, among others. He has published two collections: Persona and Shadow (FlutterPress, 2015) and Absolution (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2018). A new collection, The Latitude of a Mercy, will be published by NYQ Books in Spring, 2021.

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