Our father cannot sleep.
Tomorrow, he will kill your dogs because they killed
his cat. Our father will lose his mind, briefly.
He will shoot your dogs in the woods,
so the neighbors don’t hear the rasp
of their weight against the autumn leaves
by heavens torched in early morning light
and swooning with gravity.
Then, only the trees will witness the dirt
spilling a testimony of ants and worms
so the ground becomes one
with everything. In this trial of willing
you and your dogs
to the widening, altered sky, I will call,
but you will not answer, because you,
like our father, cannot, could not ever, bear
Melissa Cundieff-Pexa received an MFA from Vanderbilt and will pursue a PhD at Binghamton University in fall 2015. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and two Pushcart nominations, her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in journals such as Bat City, Mid-American, Gargoyle, Phantom Limb, Fjords, Iron Horse, and The Collagist, among others. The author of a chapbook, Futures with Your Ghost, she lives in Ithaca, NY with her family.