How to Love the One Who Is Dying

Look how the animal feeds
from the lipped bowl of a carrion,
how it sips the split

abdomen. Air heady
& aluminum-seasoned.
Imagine longing nests here

within paper skin, shadowy organs
my lover who blooms liquid
velvet & curls toward consumption.

See how red arouses mouth
& the looping fly who requests
what is blessed & common

from the unlatched body,
skin cracked & slumping into soil.
She, the fever-born woman,

me, in the wake of the belly’s
eye. Listen for God. Be sure
to thank her.

How to Love the One Who Is Dying by Jennifer Popa

Photo used under CC.

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About Author


Jennifer Popa is a short-story writer, novelist, and poet. She is in her second year as a Ph.D. student of English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories, teaching creative writing to a bright group undergrads, serving as an Associate Editor for Iron Horse Literary Review,  and tending to the needs of two demanding dogs. Her work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, The Watershed Review, and The Citron Review among others.  She categorically opposes pineapple on pizza.

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