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  • Route 7 Review

Moriah Hampton—Untitled

for Thomasina Winslow (1965-2023)

“Can’t tell my future, and I can’t tell my past

Lord, it seems like every minute, sure gonna be my last” –Willie Brown

You sing these lines, convincing

me they were the sign I missed

days after you died. I listen again

your voice sudden, tense, insisting

that every effect follows from a cause

that people don’t just drop

dead leaving others

to find them.

Shock and disbelief—

that’s what others feel. Not me

since the universe swells with meaning.

Except at night,

when he sits on the couch


and words I never speak

collect underneath the cushions

like loose change

knowing you and he made music together

felt the mysteries of connection

all those nights on stage.

I rest my palm on his back.

Still he can’t talk about you.

Still he can’t grieve.

I clutch his shoulder

wanting to impart some shiny

truth to dim his pain.

Days later, a change

has come over him.

I don’t know when or how.

He speaks of you softly,

tenderly, giving you a new name:

He calls you T.

Moriah Hampton

Moriah Hampton holds a PhD in Modernist Literature from SUNY-Buffalo. Her fiction, poetry, and photography have appeared in The Coachella Review, Typehouse Literary Journal, Ponder Review, Hamilton Stone Review and elsewhere. She currently teaches in the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at SUNY-Albany.


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