Kyle McCord

After Dinner Poem

This poem is for you.
You leave the house,
and you come back
to the same house again.
The vegetarian spaghetti was good.
The rain was better,
life-giving even
as it collided
with the hair on my arms,
with the burnt-down
district bordering us.
I can write to the rhythm
of water with its amazing little drums
hovering around my feet.
I can hold a can to my ear
and let it interpret me through a string.
I can walk along a glen.
Stung at a young age,
I felt the way I feel
about bees as I now do
about pictures of the dead:
I wanted to help them.
But they don’t belong here now.
Neither of us do,
though this is your poem.
Imagine how unkind
the world inside it can be.


Kyle McCord is the author of three books of poetry, including Sympathy from the Devil (Gold Wake Press 2013). He has work featured in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Verse and elsewhere. He co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry, and he is the co-founder and lead content editor for LitBridge. He teaches at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX.