I’m hoarding issues of the Post-Gazette
in every corner of the house, as though
keeping the news will stop it, or at least
make something beautiful. The photographs,
their faded bands of color ink along
the folded edges, line up in a montage
of former current events: blizzard warnings
gone unfulfilled, the latest Uber scandal,
marches and countermarches head-to-head.
When did I start the process? At what point
did my apathy become an installation—
or was it panic? I can’t say. The weight
of recent history could crush you flat.
It doesn’t matter what, specifically.
Examine anything, and detailed dread
will rub off on your fingers. Hence the hoarding:
I take life only in the aggregate.
The bedroom stack is bending like a stem.
The kitchen stack keeps shifting as I pass it.
I take their swift collapse as imminent.
Michael Mingo received his MFA in poetry from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, where he teaches creative writing. His work has appeared in Spillway, Harpur Palate, Tar River Poetry, and Cherry Tree, among others.