Deborah Bogen: "Vigil"




Later, the newspaper said a passing stranger pulled me up.

They said wood scraped my ribs when he hauled me onto the dock.


The doctor said there was oil in my mouth.

I said the air was brown, then grey.


My sister told them I had been down there awhile.

I had been down there for a while, my sister said.


            I was waiting.

            I was waiting.

             I was waiting to find out what it’s like to be a see-through thing,

            a larger emptiness.


Everyone keeps asking Are you okay, are you okay?



Deborah Bogen’s book-length collections are Let Me Open You a Swan (Elixir Press, 2009) and Landscape with Silos (Texas A&M University Press), which was a 2004 National Poetry Series finalist and won the 2005 X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. Living by the Children's Cemetery was selected by Edward Hirsch as winner of 
the 2002 ByLine Press Chapbook Competition. Her poems and reviews appear widely in magazines, including Crazyhorse, Field, Gettysburg Review, Margie, New Letters, Poetry Daily, Poetry International, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily.