Apprenticeship

My brother & I memorized our parents’ epic – their screams & grunts – mastering that pidgin of volatility. We can see an earthquake rising in the slightest twitch of an eyebrow, murder begins with a clench of the lips. I swear brood has a particular smell, fester has a sound, like an orchestra of snipers tuning in the dark.

  John Amen is the author of several collections of poetry, including Illusion of an Overwhelm, finalist for the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Award, and work from which was chosen as a finalist for the Dana Award. His poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He is a Staff Reviewer for the music magazine and website No Depression. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine.