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In Medias Res


My face is the aftermath of my face. It is a face
after the big rumble. The buildings of my face
are upward exhalations of dust. There will be
aftershocks in the aftermath of my face.

I have the aftermath of brothers. Three of them.
The aftermath of brothers is a tunnel
dug through the floor of a prison and under
the guard tower and fence with a spoon.

The spoonfuls of dirt are childhood days,
and you eat them. The tunnel is quiet.
The aftermath of brothers involves dinner
every few years, and, sometimes, e-mail.

I also have the aftermath of lovers. The aftermath
of lovers is like the surface of the moon: a gray
pulverized uniformity made of singular impacts.
My face and I are the aftermath of lovers.

The aftermath of sex is love, but usually briefly.
The aftermath of love is interminable.
My life is the aftermath of my childhood,
and I am the aftermath of my mother's life,

which means my mother's life was my childhood,
and that's eerily true. Teaching is the aftermath
of learning. Writing is the aftermath of reading.
The aftermath of friendship may well be

better friendship, but I haven't gotten there.
Which means the aftermath of friendship lives
in Minneapolis, and though I have long
forgiven him, I can distinguish no road back.

So the aftermath of friendship is that certain
kinds of conversations become theoretical.
The aftermath of a dog is a tin box. The aftermath
of a dog may also be a cat. The aftermath of a dog is

another dog is another dog is another dog,
and in that way dog attains something
like immortality. Except when it doesn't, then
the aftermath of dog is a cat. Or getting home late

and heading right up to bed. The aftermath
of chocolate is the aftermath of my face.
The aftermath of my face is a perambulating diet.
The aftermath of having had parents

is a constricting understanding
of them. Surely the aftermath of something
is a prologue. But maybe because it's a prologue,
you can't know until the aftermath. The aftermath

of a car is an insurance check. The aftermath
of a car is—what's that word?—historicity.
The aftermath of a car is another car. Sometimes
a better one. But the aftermath of a man may be

no more men.


Benjamin S. Grossberg

Boulevard

Fall 2017


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