The Saddest Day of the Year

             after Vallejo

No one came here
for your body.
You should know
that by now.

On the outskirts
of town we swung
together a skirt
of a structure;

we spliced wind
and wood, climbed our
eager scaffolding
suspended: whole days

will stop—how?
Not a minute
goes by all these
years I cannot fathom

the sorrow of anyone
on their birthday.
The boys and girls
who sang, the boys

and girls who never
arrived, the boys
and girls forgotten
on invitation

day: the most
verifiable thing
is vanishing point.
The other days

too, each day of
the week a different
day to leave. Separated
by years you might go

on a Wednesday and I on a
Monday. Or perhaps
a Saturday and a
Thursday. Every

day contains this. Like
the letters of your
name which
rearranged spell

prehistoric failure. I will not
stop inventing you
a new name—you must
wear more and more

fragile socks. Some sleep
some sleep we will
never retrieve
or release. We expect

to nudge you at the bottom
of the sea or beneath
the boards of the train tracks,
haul you

up in the national crane.


Nat Sufrin is based in Chicago. His writing recently appeared in TriQuarterly, RHINO, TINGE Magazine, The Death and Life of American Cities, and in a video series from Modo de Usar & Co (Brazil). New work is forthcoming in The Antioch Review.