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Matthew Minicucci

Matthew Minicucci’s most recent collection, Small Gods (New Issues), won the 2019 Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from numerous journals including The Believer, POETRY, The Southern Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including the Stanley P. Young Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a Writer-in-Residence fellowship from the James Merrill House. Last summer, he served as the 43rd Dartmouth Poet-in-Residence.

Black Ship, Swept

When my grandfather says
then, my ship will be gone, I have no response.
And so
I mourn, just as my mother
taught me to do. Just as she was taught
by her mother, and each mother before that: a clew
held taut, as when I said I miss you
and to this
you had no response. Only that the ship
has been swept, swept, swept
sweeps away, I know but I do not know what
to say. What I’m looking for is here by the coffee and corn flakes
always, that there is
another cave, lit but still
dark like remains, or
the simple inertia of a swaying body sculpted
to simulacrum from ashes,
as if
by a mother’s heavy

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