Ian C. Williams

Call It What It Is

After I boil this carton of eggs, then I will sleep.
After the rolling boil smooths to a line, after I peel away


their shells, then I will call it what it is.
This attempt at forgiveness. But forgiveness


will not erase the kitchen. Not the house or the forest,
not the text messages or the state lines. Not what you did


or how I needed to rearrange this silverware drawer
of my chest afterwards. But I don’t know how to define it.


As it is, I’m scared. Scared that forgiveness is just a flick
of the wrist holding the knob, a motion to turn down


the gas so low it’s invisible. Only stench and suspicion—
never a full crown of flame. I promise—I won’t strike


a match in this kitchen. But I’ve seen the contents
of your pockets. I know you have enough for both of us.

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About the Author

Ian C. Williams is a poet and teacher from Appalachia. He has earned a Masters in Fine Arts from Oklahoma State University, He lives in West Virginia, with his wife, Bailey, and their two sons. He tweets @ianwilliamspoet