Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.
Acre after acre left unburnt.
Full families of wolves gone
unshot. & the chickens we keep
to teach our children where meat
comes from are getting nervous.
The wire-thin pen cannot stop
the world from entering.
Nearly every writer I know was stricken to some extent by the news of Denis Johnson’s death. Given the inadequacy of any possible response to a loss like that, maybe Margot Livesey’s reaction, in an email, seemed to best get to the heart of the matter. She wrote: “How could this be? No more of those sentences.”