Two Poems by Weston Morrow

Weston Morrow

Weston Morrow

Weston Morrow is a poet and former print journalist with an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His recent poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, Meridian, The Journal, and elsewhere. His visual art has appeared in Ninth Letter. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

        The Dead Won’t Shut Up

          Even gone they want
      me to echo them

            but standing
         at his grave

                I turn away
           as from a stray dog

stop following me

       what do I owe the dead
                boy who gave 

           his name to me
     like a coat left

       discarded on the street
     I never asked for this 

              to live my life
                   and his 

           for years
      after my father laid 

            his dead brother's
     name across my chest

I thought I could return it




        The Art of Letting Go

The acetone takes its time erasing the painting.
        I can no longer stand
to see it—the thin figure
        fading like a sun-
blanched awning, framed on the easel's
        narrow wooden legs.
How much longer now,
        'til the canvas gives up
the face, the cramped and slender limbs?
        While I wait I trace
across your back the strokes I'll make
        to lay the body down
on canvas, again. It's been so long
        since I touched you
idly, without intent, that my desire,
        swelling like a storm-spurred tide,
terrifies me. My hand quivers
        and the lines serrate,
jagged and misshapen, hooked
        like a crooked spine
to your hips. Our last attempt
        arrived lifeless.
Just a few more minutes
        and the solvent
will have finished the job, erased
        another failure. Each time
I make this same mistake
        of hoping, but eventually
we learn our lessons, and soon
        I'll stop trying
to change the painting, let the space
        between us bloom
into something resembling a life.