I tell your stories to keep myself alive. I tell you new stories. I speak them
aloud to you when no one is around, the way you used to talk to Grandpa
in your bedroom after his death. The stories play on repeat in my head. I
write them down. I tell them to Elliott when he asks. A year later, he still
remembered you, but I don’t know how long his memories from two will
last. To him, you will be more story than person. Are we always more story
than person, words thicker than water? I got the wave of your hair and your
lack of wisdom teeth. I did not get your metabolism that let you eat six hot
dogs at one cookout, but I get to keep that story, more necessary now than
blood or breath.
|Katie Manning is the founding editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and a professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and her fifth chapbook, 28,065 Nights, is newly available from River Glass Books. Her poems have appeared in American Journal of Nursing, december, The Lascaux Review, New Letters, Rogue Agent, Stirring, THRUSH, Verse Daily, and many other venues. Twitter Handle: @iamkatmann|
Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the Managing Editor of Sundress Publications. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, and her work has appeared in Guernica, Ecotone, Crab Orchard, and Mid-American. Smith is a Distinguished Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Tennessee.