Risa Denenberg


            At last I am arrived.

It took a lifetime to pack, unpack, repack.
            Along the way, I eulogized suicides and cows

lingered in ghost-crammed cities
            found solitude in vacant towns.

Some say it takes an entire life to arrive
            and some not arrived even at death.

If not dead yet, at least I have a story. Look—
            I’m dangling a gun from its holster

ready to argue against another day. All the yellowed

            leaves tore loose and ran away.

If my life is rejected, if never wise, if barely alive,
            if not quite woke, at least I am arrived.

Arriving is the inner skin of leaving. All the wreckage
            and detritus of a life, left behind to founder

on its own. I’ve burned my story, every page of it.
            I never said goodbye.

Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press; curator at The Poetry Café, and has published three full-length collections of poetry, most recently, slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018).