Poem of the Week, by Tom Sastry

IMG_2194Before taking the city bus for the first time, I was scared. How much does it cost and what if you don’t have exact change and what are those green cards everyone else seems to be holding and oh crap what about that scanner thingie? Etcetera.

“Help. This is my first time ever on the bus,” I said once onboard. The driver and everyone who heard me looked up and smiled. “Hello!” “Welcome!” “Congratulations!” They showed me how to pay, asked where I was going, showed me how to pull the stop cord.

Giving up and admitting my cluelessness like that changed me, relaxed me. Help. I have no idea what I’m doing. When I read this poem I thought of that long-ago ride bus ride.


Hanging out with musicians, still in my suit, by Tom Sastry

He said fucking and that was important:
“We’re all fucking broken.”
He said it gently
like a priest, soothing the smart of sin.

I hadn’t heard about it before
this shared brokenness
and it was new to me, this idea
that being in pieces could bring us together

so my mind worked through all the things he might mean
like the fourteen-stone word-association machine that I am
I remembered all the world’s once-complete, now-shattered things

until I couldn’t get it out of my head
that we were broken like jigsaws
fucking broken like fucking jigsaws
and it felt right and wise and true.



​For more information about Tom Sastry, please click here.


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Twitter and Instagram: @alisonmcgheewriter


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