When he came back
from his journey in contrapasso,
he found a dead mouse in his kitchen.
And she who had believed his house
to have stood empty all those months,
in frozen unapologetic grief
to oust the blemish
of everything that hadn’t occurred
not quite like that at least,
and guard only what was righteous:
holy dreams spreading over the walls;
when all the while a tiny life
had kept time moving, romping about,
but now lay stiff, its purpose fulfilled.
He picked it up and threw it gently
out onto the compost heap,
not knowing how to better thank it
than by giving it back
She thought of all this, of him,
still dazed from returning,
with a lifeless rodent in his smooth hand,
expurgation done by someone else,
jealous of a dead mouse
welcoming him home.
Alexandra Fössinger is a German/Italian native speaker from Italy. Having lived in Germany, Sweden, and France, she is fluent in several languages; her poems, which she writes mainly in English, often try to express those multilingual experiences. While some of her German poems have appeared in magazines in the past, she has just recently started submitting her English poems. They are published or forthcoming in morphrog, Eunoia Review and Mono. She currently works as a creative director for an advertising agency.