Memorial Day





Twigs, shadows dot the field.

Cells, their sympathies
in balance—respiration, vasomotion, reflex
—ready to split, the cold air
to enter in.

Leaves bound at the tips
of their branches; the trees, their reaches.
I am left wanting debris.

Like the Easter miracle, something from the ground
pulses, moves stone.

The taut belt of stratosphere
stretches thin and life-
long. I lie beneath leisure.

Veins of tree bark.
A purple rope like a bracelet.
Dads and their tummies, their tight little frames.
Sheepdog, leash lost, her fur
wet and collecting at the snout.

Twigs. Strewn over the grass
like dice. I am like this dirt

in that I am hard and fertile.
When I’ve lost, I’ve lost completely.



Will Russo is a Chicago-based poet from New York and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Free State Review, Watershed Review, SPECTRA Poets, Salamander, and elsewhere. He is Poetry Editor at Great Lakes Review.