griffin epstein

box full of yearbook outtakes and things that survived the fire

stare at the photo of sun on dog in squares of light        sun on light with dog in sun all over in
squares of light on a page of pictures in the archive that remembers me         always turning        dog
morning sneaking through the window of the basement where I hide what I refuse to eat in a box
of pictures         the best way to loop time        capture and destroy time         ease time away like lit
birthday candles reducing themselves to wax throwing shadow on the white rug the blue chair
and the charcoal stain behind There are too many COLORS in this house THAT’S why it had to
burn        give me a photo like a benediction          the plural swing of all our hauntings passing over
the substitute house like a fleet of men like a parcel of men like MOM there’s a flock of MEN
passing over the house        no one took any pictures of that        but look here’s one where I’m in 
the parking lot with pink hair        one outside the 1998 cooper union national youth poetry slam           
one at the public pool where I never get high enough to stay casual        the air prodding the edges of my 
skin        or        here        sitting alone in the bitter kitchen        downstairs by the stacked boxes with the 
custody papers I won’t see until later 
and in this one I am laughing.                             swanned out on the couch ready for the damage 
and in this one I am dancing        skinny limbs tossed around        and in this one I am staring
down calculating a dog’s lifespan on my toes the years between then and now divided in squares
of light on the carpet in lit squares  

griffin epstein is a non-binary white settler from NYC (Lenape land) working in education and community-engaged research in Toronto (Dish with One Spoon/Treaty 13). They have been featured in Glad Day’s Emerging Writers Series, and their poetry has appeared in Grain MagazineThe Maynard and Plenitude, among others. griffin is the author of so we may be fed, forthcoming from the Frog Hollow Press disability chapbook series. They play music in SPOILS, make games with shrunken studios, and develop multimedia work with poet Shannon Quinn and artist bryan depuy.