Sautéing Spinach With My Aunt

Flesh collapses inward
at the faintest tickle
of heat, as if preparing,
from the start, to wilt,
as if that first stab of pain,
like that which would soon
attend the blinding
rupture behind her eyes,
simply soothes the stress
of waiting. After twenty years,
I can see those leaves,
charred and bled,
still shrinking.

Ed Doerr’s work appeared most recently in One Teen Story, Water/Stone Review, The Tishman Review, Firewords Quarterly, and the New York Times bestselling collection It All Changed In An Instant, among others. When he’s not writing, he teaches middle school English in New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and has recently completed a masters degree in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.