The Stroke

followed him up the back stairs,
through the kitchen door,

passing me at the table
and into the living room

where he collapsed on the floor.
I picked up the yellow phone

and dialed the number I knew
but forgot. All I could do was watch

him curl on the carpet, eyes filled
with surprise and his body

confused and shivering
like live buds cut at the root—

blood puddling like rain
in his head. I thought the ambulance

would never come so I waited
by the road and paced until the first

sound of the siren made everything
as real as a man’s face split in pain.

Ode to a Scar

Where did yours come from? Mine?

I fell running in the rain.

I fell chasing a boy in July.

A boy was running from me.

I started to bleed into the cement.

The cement was shocked by my eyebone.

My eyebone didn’t see that coming.

The half-moon scar reddens in the summer.

I fell chasing a boy in the rain.

Jona Colson’s poems, translations, and interviews have been published in PloughsharesThe Southern Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. His debut poetry collection, Said Through Glass, won the 2018 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House.  He is also the poetry editor of This Is What America Looks Like: Poetry and Fiction from DC, Maryland, and Virginia (WWPH, 2021).


Image by Petr Novák, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

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