Thanatophobia

By Vivian Wagner

It’s always there,

in a cup of coffee,

floating in the air,

scurrying underground.

It’s there in the happiest

moments, the ones marked

with flowers and song,

the ones we record.

It’s never recorded, though.

Never admitted into

the pantheon of memories.

It’s the flip side of joy,

the pit at the heart of a plum.

Take that pit;

throw it to the ground.

It just might grow.

About the Author

Vivian Wagner lives in New Concord, Ohio, where she’s an associate professor of English at Muskingum University. Her work has appeared in Slice Magazine, Muse/A Journal, Forage Poetry Journal, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Gone Lawn, The Atlantic, Narratively, The Ilanot Review, Silk Road Review, Zone 3, Bending Genres, and other publications. She’s the author of a memoir, Fiddle: One Woman, Four Strings, and 8,000 Miles of Music(Citadel-Kensington); a full-length poetry collection, Raising (Clare Songbirds Publishing House); and three poetry chapbooks: The Village (Aldrich Press-Kelsay Books), Making (Origami Poems Project), Curiosities (Unsolicited Press), and Spells of the Apocalypse (forthcoming from Thirty West Publishing House).

Copyright© 2020 by Vivian Wagner

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