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Every story has already been told and
originality is dead, a student from long ago
emails me, one line, no greeting or signature.

It’s the same email he sent while he was
in my class, and I receive it on a day that seems
the same as then, grey, cold, someone is sick.

Perhaps he was trying to reconnect, to pick up on
our old conversation. Perhaps he was waiting for
the worst time to remind me. For February to settle

into my knees and elbows, for even my daily bath
to seem insipid. There is another Olympics going on
under another duress, another picture of Putin sitting

alone and cheering for Russia, marching without their
flag. As usual, no one looks at him except the camera,
everyone pretending it’s not that bad, all of us

just shaking our fingers at him like he’s nothing 
but a five-year-old who just toppled a dimestore
vase with a baseball, like maybe it was an accident.

You can purchase Busy Griefs, Raw Town: A poetic response to the brutality of war in Ukraine edited by GF Korreck from Schuler Books. Proceeds benefit Ukraine relief.

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash

Katie Kalisz

Katie Kalisz is a Professor in the English Department at Grand Rapids Community College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Loyola University of Chicago, and Queens University of Charlotte. Quiet Woman, her first book, was a finalist for the 2018 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poems have appeared in Midwestern GothicThe Michigan PoetRed Paint HillMuddy River Poetry Review, and Unbroken Journal, among others. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children.

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