Stamp Album of the Suicides

Like links in a chain letter the dead lie
carefully arranged. In one, a head of straight dark
hair bolts down, threatening to burst the frame.

A 10-cent square with our state flower leaves
too little needed space.

The edge grows tawdry. The perforation frays
as if there were nothing here
to honor, nothing to commemorate.

The sky hung over the blue spruce. Flags
folded in rows at the top of the next page.

As an oft-sought pair of open arms, also
the Pacific takes its rightful place.
The green-grey one where fumes curl

in the upper corners, and turn and curl,
and turn. Because the roof was never
reachable. Ever aloft, so to say.

 
 
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Sarah J. Sloat grew up in New Jersey and has lived for many years in Germany, where she works in news. Her poems have appeared in Bateau, Harper’s Ferry Review, and Court Green. She has published two chapbooks with Dancing Girl Press, “Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair” and “Inksuite.” Another chapbook, “Homebodies,” is available from Hyacinth Girl Press.