Present at the Unraveling

Present at the Unraveling

It started slowly, the way

weather and love do.

Some of us were living

on the coast and

sent messages inland.

Some of us, in the cities, began to

think about another way

to witness. With Barbara and Ken

I drove through the gathering

smoke. Our eyes were open wide.

The road, too. Ahead,

we knew, would be bad

news, gilded at times with

hope. I took Barbara’s hand. She

said: be here now.

Present at the unraveling.

Corey Mesler

Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published nine novels, four short story collections, six full-length poetry collections, and a dozen chapbooks. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart many times, and three of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs a 144 year-old bookstore in Memphis. He can be found at

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