After Suicide [A hole is nothing]

By Matt Rasmussen Matt Rasmussen
A hole is nothing
but what remains around it.

My brother stood
in the refrigerator light

drinking milk that poured
out of his head

through thick black curls
down his back into a puddle

growing larger around him.
My body stood between the

living room and kitchen
one foot on worn carpet

one on cold linoleum.
He couldn't hear his name

clouding from my mouth
settling in the fluorescent air.

I wanted to put my finger
into the hole

feel the smooth channel
he escaped through

stop the milk
so he could swallow it

but my body held
as if driven into place.

The milk on the floor
reflected the light

then became it.
Floated upward and outward

filling every shadow
blowing the dark open.

Matt Rasmussen, "After Suicide [A hole is nothing]" 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, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Sorrow & Grieving

 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, Love, Heartache & Loss, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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