After the Without

Our sullen preparations
finish without haste.
Slipping, as one does
off the finger, a lone
water bead, flicking
a leaf tip up, dropping
weight after the rain.
The pearl falls as one
does, after the without,
sinking in fertile earth.

M. N. O’Brien received his B.A. from Roanoke College, where he received the Charles C. Wise Poetry Award. His poems have appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Right Hand Pointing, and Quatrain.fish, among other journals. He lives in Virginia and feels odd writing about himself in the third person.

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