The ones we loved who drowned
we called uncle. They ate black bread
in their lifetimes but never in ours.
They woke up early, ground their good
legs into brass, educated their children
in one bicycle accident after another.
Moshe had a twitch in his left eye,
the eye that was as blue as the other
stayed brown. He would ask one eye
to sing to the other. Only in bed.
Only when sketching his sheer curtains
blown haywire by the wind. His one
window facing south from Moscow.
Jordan Stempleman is the author of eight collections of poetry including Wallop and No, Not
Today (Magic Helicopter Press). He is an editor for The Continental Review and Windfall Room, serves as
the faculty editor for Sprung Formal, and runs A Common Sense Reading Series.