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I blew the candle out

a fresh new poem by John Fry

I blew the candle out

John Fry


I blew the candle out        
not knowing you had

gone out, 
you’d gone—


Santa María        that as I said
the words        Madre de Dios
flicker-lit votive
ruega por nosotros        Guadalupe’s quickening
wick slendered        yours silver


ahora y en la hora

smoke risen like minutes

de nuestra muerte

leaden hour, your


—ashes to ashes now,
dust to dust

for to dust we shall return
—returned, is your body

like anything here
there, that homeplace

grandmother star
where grandmothers go

when they die—
when you died

I blew the candle out
(your last breath)

I didn’t know that
you’d let (we let) you go




In memory of Velma Young Bryant


John Fry's poems appear or are forthcoming in Blackbird, West Branch, Colorado Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Water~Stone Review, among others. He is the author of the chapbook silt will swirl (NewBorder, 2012) and a graduate of the MFA program at Texas State University. Currently, he's an Assistant Instructor and PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studies medieval and early modern English literature and serves on the staff of Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. He also edits poetry for Newfound Journal.