Outgoing

By Matt Rasmussen Matt Rasmussen
Our answering machine still played your message,
and on the day you died Dad asked me to replace it.

I was chosen to save us the shame of dead you
answering calls. Hello, I have just shot myself.

To leave a message for me, call hell. The clear cassette
lay inside the white machine like a tiny patient

being monitored or a miniature glass briefcase
protecting the scroll of lost voices. Everything barely

mattered and then no longer did. I pressed record
and laid my voice over yours, muting it forever

and even now. I'm sorry we are not here, I began.

Matt Rasmussen, "Outgoing" from Black Aperture. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Rasmussen. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: Black Aperture (Louisiana State University Press, 2013)

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Poet Matt Rasmussen

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Death, Health & Illness, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

 Matt  Rasmussen

Biography

Poet Matt Rasmussen was born in International Falls, Minnesota. He earned his BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MFA from Emerson College. He is the author of the chapbook Fingergun (2006) and the full-length collection Black Aperture (2013), which won a Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a National Book Award finalist. Praising the book, judge Jane Hirshfield noted, “Autobiographical, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Health & Illness, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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