a poetry e-zine










Tiffany Washington

To a Silhouette of Almost


Kelley's tears hang suspended,

veiled through casual conversation,

after telling me the news.


Concerts, prescriptions, vegetarian recipes -

anything to avoid talk of the dead baby.

(Too small, yet, for birthday wings.)


A memory box, newly painted -

two weeks early, one day too late.


I could not offer comfort, only

selfish prayers that this would be the last buried baby.


She talked about the books in the window,

a brother's attempt to protect a sister somewhere else

(on lost wings).


After I hung up, I thumbed through a book,

for solace, remembering a story I'd once read

about explaining death to a dog -

thinking it’s words might unlock the secret to grief.





A Poem about Your Almost First Marriage


The day after you called to tell me

you cancelled your wedding,

my 8th grade students debated love.


When Qu'ron said "Love is clear,"

the class giggled at his simple notion.

Jahneil said, for her,

Love is the boyfriend who waits for sex

when she says no.

Marquise believes love is the lesbian couple

on the city busy; happier than her parents.


And Adrian? Adrian does not believe in love.


Throughout their big ideas and little words,

I could not help but think of your invitation

on my fridge - his arm around you.

The dress in your closet.

And the affair - just discovered.




Tiffany Washington teaches English in Hartford and is the new mother of two energetic, entertaining boys. Occasionally, she writes. Her work has appeared in Caduceus, Long Run Review, and Artis.


Copyright 2013  Chantarelle's Notebook