Sorrow is the Greatest Enemy
Michelle Reale


Curls of currant-colored paint from shuttered windows float lightly to the ground like spirits shedding their careworn skin. Everyone is leaving us or has already left. The scrape of the chair at the head of the table and everything within reach of my long arm could use a coat of paint. Our numbers swelled and then receded as though it were a natural thing. Our torpor was interpretive, and it varied with the weather. There might be discrepancies to my story though, if someone would dare to look too closely and feel tempted to compare. This is human nature. Can we all just admit that over the years we have had polite misunderstandings and were traitors, each of us, in just the right situations? Please come back. Any or all of you. It looks like destruction, I know, but with the right attitude adjustment, it could be the start of something shiny and new.



Michelle Reale is an Associate Professor at Arcadia University. She is the author of several collections of poetry and conducts ethnography among African refugees in Sicily. Her Italian-American, specifically Sicilian-American, way of life is a prominent source of her research, as well. She blogs about many of her experiences and topics of research here.