His wife left him
a brief message announcing she was leaving him,
a flash on his answering machine. It left him
at a loss for why, and what to do
with the dozen long stemmed roses he’d brought home to strew
across her pillow which now retained all he had left
of her, a faint impression of her left
cheekbone, turned away to face the wall.
Her red lipstick scrawl
across the bathroom mirror
evoked some Hitchcock horror.
U R Unbearable!
Admittedly that did seem possible.
William Wells’ most recent full-length volume of poems, Odd Lots, Scraps & Second-hand, Like New, won the 2016 Grayson Books Poetry Prize and was published in April, 2017. His previous full-length collection won the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize and was published in 2010 by Ohio Univ./Swallow Press. And earlier volume of poems won the Anhinga Award. He has won two Ohio Arts Council Individual Artistic Excellence Awards in Poetry, most recently 2016, and four NEH and one NEA fellowships. His poems appear in current, recent, or forthcoming issues of a number of literary journals.