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Image by Taryn Elliott

In Memoriam

To answer the question you didn’t ask
but which creased your brow:
I don’t know why we keep struggling.
It’s the end of February;
the sun still stays in bed most days.
What are we to insist?
—I ask with a voice muffled
by uncertainty
& therefore fear.
On another day, in another time,
you asked a different question.
The answer, I remember, was
I want to belong to the living.
I have lost your words,
but the urge to reply remains.

for Melissa Rosella Marion, 1985–2021

Andrew P. Dillon graduated in the University of Tennessee’s inaugural MFA class. His work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Stirring, The West Review, Please See Me, & Second Chance Lit. His debut collection, The Great Permission, is a booksite that will be released in 2022. Visit his website at


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