“at goodwill (radiation, day 32)” by B.J. Best

radiation day
“Pathways in the Sea” by Mia Avramut, encaustic and gouache on wood, 8.5 x 11.5 in.

we wield our squealing cart, ready to rifle
through the detritus of other people’s lives:
the fritzy stereo, the german bible,
baskets, scarves, puzzles, bent butter knives.

our son wants to visit the toys, buried
like a graveyard of childhood. broken parts,
electronics no longer batteried:
o birthday, o christmas, what callous heart

would want to be bereft of you? it is my wife
who finds the vintage cat pitcher made in japan.
we will take it home, let it purr in our life,
now a little brighter than when the day began.

thrift stores, like cancer, serve to remind:
you never know what’s hidden. what you’ll find.



B.J. Best is the author of three books of poetry: But Our Princess Is in Another Castle (Rose Metal Press, 2013), Birds of Wisconsin (New Rivers Press, 2010), and State Sonnets (sunnyoutside, 2009). I got off the train at Ash Lake, a verse novella, is forthcoming from sunnyoutside.  He lives in Wisconsin.

Read an interview with B.J. here.

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