The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Christian J. Collier

First Time After


The first time we made love

after the miscarriage, she wept,

locked herself in the bathroom

immediately after we finished

& filled it with the sounds of her sobbing.

The hardest thing was knowing

what feelings sealed her in there

& that I had to let her wade through them alone,

had to let her encounter that moment

of missing the soul we lost again,

had to let her feel, once more, the full weight of the absence,

had to let her come to terms

with rediscovering joy with her body again.

From the ruffled bed, it dawned on me

that time is a god unto itself.

It heals us when it is ready to do so,

not in the instant we would like it to,

not when we are in the belly of need

& pleading for salvation to find us.

The act of healing hurts until, some day,

if we are fortunate, it no longer does,

until it fades from both the bone & mind.

Finally, when she exited the bathroom

with cool, fresh water on her face & returned,

I simply held her, gently rested my head against hers

as she tried in vain to pretend like she hadn’t been crying,

like she hadn’t just felt the toll of two distinct worlds at once.




CHRISTIAN J. COLLIER is a 2015 Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellow.  He is an accomplished artist, public speaker, and educator who has shared the stage with members of HBO’s Def Poetry cast, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members The Impressions, and Grammy-nominee Minton Sparks. Some of his works have been featured on The Guardian, and published in such publications as The Seven Hills Review, Dirty Chai, Freeze Ray, to name a few.



Previous | Next