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Mariya Deykute

The Grief Factory

Leaves, Jolly Ranchers, the sky, the moon

go into it. Yes, my love, even the underripe moon

goes into it. The dark on the stairs, the boil of the frog,

the running tap. Your first slippers, the ones with half-moons

‘cross the back. The mill grinds, the wheels turn. They

work all seasons in one color: the sun, the moon—

all in cilicium gray. Where am I? I’m here, too,

hanging on the neck of the elk, my feet on the moon.

They carried me from our house! Straight from the bed

so I am naked, as pale and pocked as the moon.

I am glad you came to supervise, love. I wouldn’t trust

this delicate business to anyone. Look how strains the moon

‘gainst the iron-hued glass. Break that terrible window – once!

Run from the Factory, trailing the moon

balloon. I will run naked with you, darling, and you can, too.

I’ll show you all the things that you’ve missed, even the moon.


Since I found out you almost drowned

water became dangerous, a jealous lover

that couldn’t keep you, but left reminders.

Do you see death in mountain lakes?

I am the one interpreting rain sighs.

You take cold baths. You talk of going sailing.

Today at the public pool I imagined

myself a dog: a mutt, really,

forgotten in a cellar as the workers flooded a town.

I can see him now: moist black nose twitching,

the yelp as water edged under the door,

the ineffectual swim towards the ceiling.

You say it was nothing like that. You fill a glass

of water from the tap, talk jazz. There are places in you

that have been flooded, preserved only

in photographs: a street I’ll never walk,

a smile washed into the Atlantic, a bright house

I could float a rowboat over:

the stars reflecting in your eyes, but no sound.


Mariya Deykute is a writer, teacher, a performance artist and a graduate of the UMass: Boston MFA program. She lives in Quincy, MA, tutors at UMass: Boston and helps run the Quincy Art House and the Boston Poetry & Jazz Salon. Her poems have been published in Radius, Amethyst Arsenic, Front Porch, Inkspill, Grasslimb and others.

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