The Beatification of Stevie Reznik

On my bed Mom leaves a box of clothes
that belonged to Stevie Reznik,
the boy who hanged himself.
Once filled with A&P Coffee,
the cardboard still smells of morning.

At first I ignore it. I refuse to open it.
Pacing around my room,
I watch my reflection in the full length mirror
cracked from top to bottom,
salvaged from a Thursday trash pickup.
My snug clothes are aged hand-me-downs
from living boys, a brother and cousin.
I feel alive walking in their skins.

Stevie�s clothes are dead,
dead as green army men shot
by gray army men,
dead as the golden heads of marigolds
snapped off October stems,
dead as red tongues of slag
the steel mill dumps,
how slowly the color fades
like the last breathes of someone dying.

And yet, Stevie, an only child,
dressed like a mannequin.
Opening the box, I pull out jerseys,
shirts, pants, socks, piecing together a boy
who no longer plays with army men.
In the broken mirror, I see two of me,
one clothed in vestments of the dead
and one thankful they are not mine.

DONNARKEVIC is from Weston, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Bijou Poetry Review, Naugatuck River Review, Prime Number, and Off the Coast. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published by Main Street Rag. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, and Virginia. FutureCycle Press published, Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013.

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