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Poetry

Andy Chapolini

Andy Chapolini has been writing poetry since childhood. Their work focuses on themes of loss, identity, and personal history. Andy is a physics student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a graduate of Massachusetts Bay Community College. He lives in Western Massachusetts.

If It Is Your Custom

I didn’t know what to do with them,
So I swallowed them  —
The smooth stones I picked up
On walks, on the days
When I missed you.

I knew it might be a long time
Before I could show them to you,
Before I could place them
Carefully.

I wanted to feel them sink.
I thought,
If I can’t make you feel lighter,
I can weigh myself down,
So at least you won’t bear the heaviness
Alone.

But now I dare to imagine
That I’ll tell you about them,
That one day I’ll want to get them back.

I can’t figure it out,
How to place stones on a grave
When they’re still inside me  —

So I succeeded, then,
In feeling with you  —
Grief is a thing
You can’t get out.