AND I DID NOT SLEEP LISTENING TO THE INTERNMENT NEXT DOOR

Death is enveloped by grieving processes.

By Zackary Rosen - Peace Corps Volunteer, Benin (2014 - 2016) 


When you die, the women here will all tilt their heads back, open their mouths wide as your life was. The night in their throats will claw out over their teeth, a small galaxy of vibrato will hold your soul still in their arms, like the child you once could have been. After, when you dream, it’ll be in the color of their ululations—they’ll cradle you still safe in the memory of the song you were, the melody they’re welcoming back.


This poem was selected as a finalist in the Volunteer category for the 2015 Peace Corps Poetry Contest. It was selected from more than 1,000 submissions, representing over 50 years of Peace Corps service in more than 100 countries.

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