Getting Closer To It by Rae Hoffman Jager

Getting Closer To It

Rae Hoffman Jager

The lies start little
and by afternoon
the sky is a soiled mattress
pressing down on your head.
How will you face the evening
let alone leave the grips
of the grocery store?
Keeping a lie is the heaviest coat to wear
my mother once said,
as she zipped hers up– it’s true
even the cereal boxes are ashamed for mine:
look at how their cheeks glow red.
The glittering chicken is a mess
in its cardboard hut saying, too,
to tell tell tell tell is the only way.
Even Ginsberg couldn’t help but share
his waxed secrets to the romas and navel oranges
in the produce thunder and mist of 5pm.
You can only carry a lie for so long
before it starts to sing, he thought.
And he was right. Listen to the cart’s wheels,
how they cry like a playground
of children with injured knees.


©Rae Hoffman


Rae HoffmanRae Hoffman Jager puts words into orders. Since studying under Albert Goldbarth at WSU, she has won the 2014 Cincinnati Library Poetry contest and has been published in a handful of magazines: Kenning, Mojo, Red River, etc. Sometimes she puts words into orders well.