On Beginning & Ending

TW: self harm, religious domestic abuse

On beginning 
as we usually do 
   in the early morning; 
on rising early 
to gather the eggs, 
   garner the harvest; 
on gathering 
long locks of hair 
   sewn tightly into bonnets; 
on sewing 
quilts adorned with 
   lifeless geometry & paltry paisley;
on adorning, 
secretly, the bonnets with 
   blossoms pruned from grow; 
on pruning 
feverish thoughts 
   & mindful wandering; 
on wandering 
what lies beyond the creek 
   or wondering; 
on lying 
the view from the middle row 
   of the pastor's daily preach; 
on preaching 
pastures that we sow 
   the laborious fruit we reap; 
on sowing 
a stray & frayed thought 
   sprouts quietly from seed; 
on straying 
fingers clutched & wet, touch, 
   the ringing of a mother's mourn;
on mourning 
eyes raw with penitent begging 
   for straw sky forgiveness; 
on forgiving 
   this small act of rebellion; 
on acting 
browbeaten contrition, retribution--
   it is endless; 
on ending: 
maybe this is how
   angels are made 

   in the space between worlds.

Letter for a boy named Aubrey

You will never know the house 
in L.A. with the 1975 Camaro in
the driveway and the mold on 
the ceilings where your Great Grandfather
spent the last years of His life yelling at
your Great Aunt through cottage cheese
dinners and post stroke dementia. Or the
bonnets and single color 
dresses to the ankles and the 
washing the hair in the sink and
the chickens and the ducks in 
the back yard and Mr. Ugly Nasty
who always got bullied by the 
other ducks or the dead cow 
we found floating in the creek 
or the deer that said hello in the 
back window while we were eating
dinner. And your earliest memory
probably won't be hiding in the 
tall grass on the farm, while your
mother rang the bell and called 
your name and you sat there 
alone in the grass, looking for just
a moment of peace. 
Oh, Aubrey. 
You will never get to break into your
childhood home to show a realtor the
birds that have nested in 
the kitchen cabinets or the secret drug
den in the attic and the love that did
not echo through the yellow living
room with the striped wallpaper and
the kitchen with the birds and the trees
and the long hallway. 
You will not grow up with the woods
in your backyard that separated you
from all those tanks of gas waiting to
explode which will not end up being
a metaphor for the marriage you
were born into. 
Oh, Aubrey. 
Good for you, bud.

About The Author

Dean Boskovich is a cook. His work has appeared previously in T.G.I. Friday's, continental breakfasts, and various food delivery apps. Dean hopes your friends don't think he was being too awkward the other day.