Detroit Morning

NJ Byrne

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NJ Byrne

Detroit Morning was selected as part of MSU Library Short Edition's call for submissions on the theme of "Home," in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibition "Where We Dwell." Nan Byrne is a poet and writer and the author of two books. Her work has appeared in a variety of literary magazines including Michigan Quarterly Review, Seattle Review, Fiction Southeast, New Orleans Review, The Mighty Line, and others. A former television writer she holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is the owner of a vintage clothing shop called Utopia.

On the ruined road
that runs along the lake drive
where the laughing gulls shriek
and the invisible fish swim
as if they had invented silence

in my blue coat in the warm wool coat
I first wore when you were still alive
still walking cautiously in your bedroom slippers
across the living room carpet
your gray hair combed in Detroit style

Still a great city to live you said
even now, but not for the haircuts
but for the dogs and the zip sauce

Some things change,
others remain the same
like the cold bite of winter on my fingers
as I place them one by one
the rocks I gather into a cardboard cup

Each one as you would have said
alone except for the others
because that's what we are

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