Purgatorio | Matthew Moniz
The First Word: go
It thunders without rain.
The lightning has no place to go.
The Second Word: depending
Scars are a mark of pain or a sign of growth
depending on who you show them to.
The Third Word: and
you and you and you and you
and you and you and I
The Fourth Word: sometimes
Sometimes sunlight boils the skin.
Sometimes hurricanes kill vermin.
The Fifth Word: enough
And He saw that it was good enough.
On the last day, the Lord let it be.
The Sixth Word: try
Grass stabs the dirt but not your feet
no matter how hard you both try.
The Seventh Word: this
this town this town this town this town
this town this fucking town
The Eighth Word: again
When bones heal wrong
they must be crushed to dust and set again.
The Last Word: choose
We are not kind people, but that can change.
Choose the world you want to live in.
Matthew Moniz is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from the DC area, he holds an MFA and MA from McNeese State University and a BA from Notre Dame. Among other national and international journals, Matt’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Crab Orchard Review, Meridian, and Tupelo Quarterly. He has been awarded the SCMLA Poetry Prize and grown in workshops with Tin House and the Community of Writers.