Jason Storms

As My Father is Taken Away

Doctor, tell me about the abnormalities
of his deformed skeleton, how
his small, distorted rib cage didn’t
allow his lungs to fully expand.
Tell me how, inevitably, for anyone,
the body will only hold us back. Tell me
how it will fail anyone, as it failed him–
how it can be a house with locked windows
filling with smoke, how the smoke
blackens the bone-white walls, how unless
the house breaks down, even the fire can’t survive.
Tell me how, afterwards, only the frame,
only the skeleton, will remain. Tell me how
a house can burn down, how banal and
expected it is, just like the body breaking
down, and how bare, how empty, how skeletal
any place seems when the body goes, and why
this hallway feels like a field, and I feel small.
Tell me there was nothing I could have done.

Aubade If We Survive Charybdis

Here we sleep best as rain
slaps the skylights and windows

frame the imperfect city
darkness. I want to say that lust

gives issue to land, that home lies
over the mountain range of some

lover’s outline in the dead-channel
light. I run my fingers along

the rosary your spine makes
but I can’t name the words

each vertebrae forms. I can’t
translate that sentence into anything

other than wine-dark water
trying to reach the shore.

Please, tell me the truth: is there
no other way? Must our bodies be

only storm-tossed ships afraid to sail
through the whirlpool of this bed

before we can enter the harbor
and arrive safely at home?

All night, we’re tossed and turned
in the bedsheets’ terrible gales

and at sunrise, we come to.

Jason Storms

Jason Storms is a writer, musician, and lifelong Michigander living in the Detroit area. His writing has previously appeared in The Rumpus, Fugue, SLAB Literary, and The Dunes Review. He is a candidate in poetry at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.