Two Poems by Nathan Scheer






-For NAC

Is it possible to grieve
for someone who still breathes?
To mourn someone who still walks
and works and talks to you?
You’re no longer the same to them,
and them to you,
because of a decision they made,
something they said.
There’s nothing you can do
except cry
and miss them.
You never let your melancholy manifest itself
above the surface. You bury it
with a sprinkling of soil
and the occasional thump
of a pebble.
You host a shiva
just for you, entertaining distractions.
You light a candle, a solitary vigil,
hidden from all who poke and prod
and pry and try to peel away
the layer you’ve thrown over yourself,
the shroud over your love,
the veil over your face.
Is it possible to grieve
for someone who still breathes?
You know where they are,
but you’ve lost them,
and you’re lost too.


I cry soul and fire into the air.
I denounce fate and expectation.
I banish all hope but my own.
I wrap my arms around love and the
future I see reflected in their face.
I sing myself a home into existence,
for it’s only a home if I am in it.
I sit truth down in a chair and give it
a cup of tea to make it feel more
I give my nerves a slap before hitting
it behind the knees so it stumbles, just
for a minute.
I lock memory in a closet so
it can’t sneak up on me.
I let creation rest proudly on the
countertop, for anyone to see as
they walk in.
I keep fantasy hung on the wall, so
I can sneak a glimpse every now and
again as I pass.
I wipe frustration on the mat by the
door, and still leave some on the bottoms of
my boots.
I dance with melancholy, counting out
the steps to prevent him from crushing my
toes like last time.
I take uncertainty by the hand and
we stroll down the wooded path, together.
white man with brown hair and cream and black shirt

Nathan Scheer is an emerging poet from Northern New Jersey primarily active in the New York City poetry workshop and open mic scene. The subjects of his work include everyday life in and around New York as well as Jewish and queer experience.

Feature Image: “Jerusalem-Church of the Holy Sepulchre-Candles” by Andrew Shiva under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Share this


Two Poems by Allen Ebert

Happy Birthday, Old Man! Every birthday I weigh less. I’m down to the last hole on my belt. There’s more hair in the clothes dryer, than...

Three Poems by Michael Gushue

Turning ElegyLeaving is all we have.It’s your not being here speaking.Leaving the door ajar, the tableswept—turning into something less than comfort. What did you...

Two Poems by Jim Smith

Eating the Sun At the Alburgh VT eclipse festival, children sit at a picnic table drawing the sun with black crayons. A dragonfly brushes my...

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here