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Group Meditation Post-Allison

After the funeral we all took up hobbies. One of us would call
another of us and say My cereal tastes funny does your cereal taste funny?
and then we would all agree or disagree about whether the cereal
was poison from China and some of us had children with whom we were
increasingly humorless.
                                               Don’t even play with me, some of us would say.

Others of us would remain alone, alone, and would stand in our kitchens,
hungry after a long day of being alive and would not be eating,
but would instead be writing  poems that had to be written: Oh, Allison

I was trying to record all of this with my camera.

When Allison left she was attached to a string that now pulled
many of our faces down in new ways, Oh, Allison.

One of us was baptized at the YMCA and was given a new name that Allison
would have laughed at. Another of us also inched closer to religion,
lining his bird’s cage with scientology bulletins.

I don’t see spots, I see pulsating stripes,
one of us said on the phone with another. What does it mean
to not hear the alarm clock anymore?
  I asked her.

It’s 7:30, the one of us who was in bed with me
                                                       would sometimes helpfully say.

Those eggs are expired you won’t want to eat those, I would say to the one of us
who could smell nothing but disinfectant these days.

I wrote in a letter that day
that we were not the body of Christ,
                                                                but we were some kind of body.
Posted 08/31/12
Thanks to iO: A Journal of New American Poetry for publishing this poem!
Books by Hannah Gamble
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