J.S. Myers is an organizer and translator. They studied history and Arabic at Michigan State University and lives in Chicago. This is their first published poem.
For the Dead of Twenty Twenty, A Love Poem
by Jakob Myers
You believed or you didn’t believe in what killed you
You believed or you didn’t believe in America
There are mourners. I hope you know.
There was a time when with awful clearness you felt your lungs
Overwhelmed by whatever army they fought, in the street or in the bed
Did you ask for mercy?
Sorry to say, this age outlived you
You didn’t see us through the highway exit for the next world
The glint of the sun off the rear-view mirrors still looks like your eyes
We’ll give you a grave in our heads
You’ll lie tighter month by passing month
As flowers and song uncoil you
You’re the salt that stills our tongues
You’re the wine that loosens them
I don’t recall if I said it then but I’ll say it now and it doesn’t matter who hears
I love you