Heather Minette is the author of Rooftops and Other Poems (Blue Hour Press, 2013). She earned her M.A. in Literature from the University of Houston—Clear Lake and is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies at Rice University. Her work has been featured on Freshly Pressed, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was recently included in Texas’s Best Emerging Poets by Z Publishing House. More of her work is available to view at https://heatherminette.com.

Carryin’ On

Autumn arrived early.
“Carryin’ On” plays on loop.
You are painting a canvas a shade of yellow
that fills me with an unfamiliar feeling—
a feeling that I will later remember as momentary hope.

I open our living room windows to the world outside.
I want September to know that we are carryin’ on, too.
“A southern fall must be like a northern spring,”
I say, welcoming our season,
“You know, that long-awaited relief.”

But your silence falls in sync
with the pause between tracks
and becomes a void—
a void that I will later remember as its own song.

An abyss that sings,
not an early fall in Texas,
not the voices of Johnny and June,
not the color of a canary,
not a poem that writes itself through an open window,
has the strength to carry on
in this home that we have broken.

Not Fiona

I think of the child who drown in the creek,
and was discovered by her matted hair
floating on the surface of the water.

And the boy whose room is left untouched,
the bed unmade
and picture frames collecting dust.

And the mother on her porch,
still waiting for the sound
of tires against gravel.

I place a hand against my abdomen,
the parts now rearranged
and motionless,

and tell myself to say
but a name.