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The Night Before My Father Tells His Daughter He’s Dying

All night long
the silent face of the moon
stares down. My father
listens to the darkness,
to the sound of the river
in the distance.
In the distance, his hands
like waves
brush the river bank
in the back room
of his little yellow house.
The black pearl floating
on his tongue
looks like night
from here
where my lover talks
in his sleep, says
I love you,
small boat



Jessica Henricksen’s new chapbook, Past the Breakers (Lost Hill Books, 2012), is her first collection. A lifelong New Orleans resident, she is currently the Director of College Counseling at the Louise S. McGehee School for girls. She received an MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she was the Managing Editor of Willow Springs. She is the recipient of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts.