Volume 68, Number 2 · Spring 2019

Calculating the Squandered Years

Don’t look back, they say, but every
body does. The neck evolved to revolve—

halfway at least. Breaking up was so
awful the first time, we did it again.

They danced on my grave before
I was even finished digging it

so technically I did not arise
from the dead. Frayed rope

can surprise you. All my knives
dulled by sentiment.

My scars cluster around my knees.
I sat in the driveway for years,

sure the car would turn over
if I could just forget everything.

Halfway, at least.

Jim Daniels’s recent poetry books include Rowing Inland (Wayne State University Press, 2017), Street Calligraphy (Steel Toe Books, 2017), and The Middle Ages (Red Mountain Press, 2018). His book of short fiction, The Perp Walk, was published by Michigan State University Press in 2019. He coedited RESPECT: The Poetry of the Music of Detroit, an anthology of poetry and lyrics forthcoming from MSU Press in Fall 2019. He is the Thomas S. Baker University Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University.