Because justice must recede
like a page number
and because the dictionary of under
is a tedious read, more simply
consider the ground
as those who pour concrete
think of how it rained or will.

Consequently, consider the sky,
and pray like a murderer has died.
When a person dies,
it’s not a page ripped out
of a book. It’s a chapter
in another language
nearly written.

When toasting your rival,
let the glass fall
with your hand, but hold
the glass.
Give up because.

If we must bury the hatchet,
then you be the priest.




About John Poch

John PochJohn Poch is the author of three collections of poems, Two Men Fighting with a Knife, Poems, and most recently Dolls (Orchises Press 2009). He is also the co-author of Hockey Haiku: The Essential Collection. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Yale Review, and other journals. He teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University.

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“Forgiveness” © John Poch. This poem originally appeared in Meridian and was reprinted with permission by the author.