Every Midnight There’s a Hunger

Kneeling on a porch in Massachusetts, a woman
opens up a burlap bag of freshly spaded beets,
and opens too a fist of rain, musky earth, losses
never mourned—two husbands, father, brothers.
At Nogales, feral children live inside the Tunnel,
their black eyes, tunnels of more darkness.
No one knows if what they need is something
we should give or take away. Begging for change,
a toothless man on lower State Street shakes
a paper cup at passersby, and we wake up
from dream, thirsty for the secret to our lives,
hear only claw-scratch in the ash-cold chimney.

Susan Elbe is the author of Eden in the Rearview Mirror (Word Press), and two chapbooks: Light Made from Nothing (Parallel Press) and Where Good Swimmers Drown, winner of the Concrete Wolf Press 2011 Chapbook Prize. Her second book of poetry, The Map of What Happened, won the Backwaters Press Prize and is forthcoming in 2013. Her website is www.susanelbe.com.
*Photo courtesy of vinmar.
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