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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Tell the Children I was Ill | Anastasia DiFonzo

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

I read an article in which a man killed his wife

and then himself, one bullet to each head, both too resigned

to struggle, their two daughters left to clean the mess alone.

Realistically the dog did all the work, licking each bone clean

until you’d swear the dead were ghosts if not so solid.

You, on the other hand, did not intend to die.

Each time your hands grasped your wife’s neck,

every bullet that threatened to puncture her skull,

were just your attempts to expand.

The tallest man in America died at thirty-eight.

A tumor was born in his heart, causing it to grow

beyond what life could hold. I wish that’s how you’d gone.

Wish you’d loved us too much, told jokes on your deathbed

to soften the blow. The truth is you were your last resort.

The women around you would not die, and you were desperate to kill.

Cara mia, you wrote.

Tell the children

I was ill.

Anastasia DiFonzo (she/her) is a San Diego based poet with a cat named Klaus. Her debut chapbook, A Certain Serenity, is forthcoming with Puna Press in April of 2022. Currently, her work can be found in Olney Magazine, Serotonin Poetry, Tempered Runes Press, and elsewhere. When she’s not writing, she can be found hugging her cat, drinking tea, and/or staring blankly into the abyss. Feel free to contact her at

Twitter: @anmidaludi

Instagram: @anastasia.difonzo



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