Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


The Drawer

in Gun Violence/U.S. by

Come to me in your bedclothes
In your shredding bedclothes
In this light that presses your bedclothes
The sound of breathing like bedclothes
Gone unwashed for days bedclothes
Gone unwashed for weeks bedclothes
On sheets hanging to dry beside bedclothes
I have stripped myself of my bedclothes
Have you seen my bedclothes
Did you hear about the children out of bedclothes
Just waking going to school leaving their bedclothes
On the floor washing their faces their bedclothes
Strewn with their siblings’ bedclothes
A blob of jelly on their bedclothes
Getting shot in the schoolyard of bedclothes
Under a sky of bedclothes
My heart wears bedclothes
And my brain is bedclothes
And I cried into my daughter’s bedclothes
At the news of the blood on the bedclothes
And all the unworn bedclothes
Of Texas & Florida & Connecticut bedclothes
The never worn again bedclothes
& Syria & Gaza & everyone in bedclothes
Everyone sleepy in bedclothes
Waking in bedclothes
Or once in bedclothes
No longer in bedclothes
The doe in the headlights wears bedclothes
The dove in my pocket is feathers of bedclothes
The dog’s bark birdsong all bedclothes
The gun in my stepfather’s drawer under bedclothes
In everybody’s stepfather’s drawer under bedclothes
My uncle smoking in bedclothes
Aunt crying mother lying children sighing in bedclothes
Being afraid to take off your bedclothes
To leave your home of bedclothes
And if I die before I wake I pray my bedclothes
Be taken with my soul my bedclothes
Folded in the drawer next to my girls’ bedclothes
Us all safe in the drawer of bedclothes
Folded more neatly than bedclothes
Can be folded safe as clean bedclothes
In a drawer of bedclothes
Which contains no guns only bedclothes



Everything about the Texas school shooting seems horribly familiar [The New Yorker]
Victims of the Texas school shooting: Here are their stories [The New York Times]

Nicole Callihan’s latest book is Translucence, a dual-language, cross-culture collaboration with Palestinian poet Samar Abdel Jaber. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, Sixth Finch, The American Poetry Review, and as a Poem-a-Day selection from the Academy of American Poets. She lives in Brooklyn.

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