Revisiting the Closet

No, the crypt, I call it.

Dank & cavernous, so huge,
to try to touch the outer wall

would be to walk a thousand years
& never reach it.

The cracked bones
of all those who didn’t make it

line the walls & ceiling
like ornate armor.

Torchlit & stacked
together, a closeness

they never felt while they
were living.

I sift my hand through dirt in search
of words, of names, their longing,

some crystal of a whisper
but find nothing.

Only silence. More bones.
My luck reflected in their sorrow.

To honor them, I drink
their marrow,

hold them
like a second heart inside my body,

then take them with me
out

into the light.

Grant Chemidlin is a queer writer and poet living in Los Angeles. He is the author of two collections of poetry, He Felt Unwell (So He Wrote This) and Things We Lost In The Swamp. He’s been a finalist for the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. You can find more of his work on Instagram: @grantcpoetry.

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