OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 5

Zack Lavoie

Exit Happiness Enter

 

funnel for feeding tubes held above her head as if

she were proposing a toast for whatever God put a pair

of tumors in her throat. An old woman’s face, when bruised

from being pushed down a flight of carpeted stairs by a late husband

whose memory was a memory in itself, will still smile when you help

her hook her sling around her neck. Exit happiness enter

a caretaker daughter gripping her mother’s coat so she doesn’t fall

on her way into Christmas dinner. An old woman’s mouth, when bleeding

from biting her own tongue so she won’t speak out of turn, will still try

the soup her son-in-law made special for her. Exit happiness enter

a stuffed cat sitting in front of a fake fireplace. Exit happiness enter

sleeping on the couch because the bed is too high. Exit happiness enter

a collection of teacups shattering on the living room floor. Exit happiness enter

no one should be on earth this long. Exit happiness enter fragility. Exit happiness

enter leaving the television on for company. Exit happiness enter a dying lily.  

Zack Lavoie graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and is the author of the chapbook UPHEAVALS (Pond Bench Press). He was awarded the 2017 Alice James Books Director's Chair Fellowship in Farmington, Maine, where he lives. He is a feedback editor at Sooth Swarm Journal and works as an ESL editor for a global trading platform. His work can be found in Empty Mirror Magazine, OCCULUM Journal, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, and on the 'memoria' podcast