Metonymy of Desolation

Steam rises from a hot dish — either an angel or nothing.

Poem by Charlie Brice
Art by Charlie Cole

A Metonymy of Desolation

With a nod towards Rilke

Steam rises from a hot dish—

either an angel or nothing.

What does the bottom of a grave

have to offer?

Fill an empty urn with ashes;

what story does it tell?

A cello locked in a closet

unable to sing.

What of a stretch of concrete

absent footfalls?

Half a sandwich rests in a fridge,

awaits fingers long gone.

An indentation in a mattress  

cradles futility.

No one wiped the child’s fingerprints

from the windowpane. 

The bell tolls; who is there

to hear it?

An empty chair.

A pen on a barren desk.

Paper that’s blank

Paper that’s blank

About the Author

green leaf plant on brown wooden stump

Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His sixth full-length poetry collection is Pinnacles of Hope (Impspired Books, 2022). His poetry has been nominated three times for both the Best of Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Atlanta Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, Salamander Ink Magazine, and elsewhere.

About the Artist

Charlie Cole is the product of a town no one has ever heard of which, of course, means she gravitated toward creating stories to match her dreams of escape. When she is not writing she can be found vomiting out pop culture diatribes and trying to make friends with the bats in the belfry of her mind. Proud advocate for mental health, queer identity, and neurodivergency.

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