Al Maginnes. How Things Break in This World.

14 Mar

Because nothing returns to dust entirely, I did not believe the story one writer told around the table that night, about finding the baby teeth his mother had saved and slipping them out of the house. Under a moon the color of bone, he set them on the slick rails of the railroad track and smashed them with his father’s framing hammer. Like dust, he described them. Like gold. And the noise of his anger, his teeth breaking on that makeshift anvil, ringing for miles. But I have learned something of how things break in this world. And I say splinters. Shards. Imperfect angles, like the scraps of broken pottery I scraped from the sand, labeled and filed during my summer on an archaeological dig. Fragments. Like the poems pulled from the printer and mailed off again. Not the sudden absence of the tooth, the anger that wants anything broken. The splinter I pulled from my hand, The soft wound closing. The little pain that becomes healing.


2 Responses to “Al Maginnes. How Things Break in This World.”


  1. Best of the Net 2014: our nominations | pea river journal - September 14, 2014

    […] to Iraq“ Matthew Kabik, “In the Orchard, In the Field“ Al Maginnes, “How Things Break in This World“ Corey Mesler, “A Small Simic Afternoon“ Jose Padua, “Gin and the […]

  2. the top 15 most-read posts | pea river journal - October 1, 2016

    […] Al Maginnes’ poem How Things Break in This World […]

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