Transmigration: Poetry by Jeff Pearson



Always a bedside pink throw over a grandma,
a shroud over a sacrament table.

The grandma’s body flattened. Four winks
short of sleep. Breaths of apnea. Wait for

the pulse to die down. She asks the sons
with the priesthood to gather.
Have them give up her ghost.
Heavenly Father,
the giver and taker of life. The translator
of being, of incontinence, slipping under-
ground, a boulder over a tomb,

Explain why to the grandson:
Because faith is a glance at space, because love
is not awake, and the lights turn off
Because only the son could pry out your ingrown toenails

Because nerves eat through gloves to the skin
Because rites come every two years
Because magic marker, stickers wear off
Because the chord organ’s yellowed
keys reached past G

Because love is not awake
a leftover
wheelchair, floral pajamas bought for Mother’s Day
a glance at the passed out
is faded orange

Because you black out faster with Monday’s meds
Because you like that he died
Because you were ready to be with him
Because a pattern of
clothes on the floor                 plies of winter coats
Quick. Clean.
Cowardice please. Just falling out of flesh.
Because lights turn off
Because faith is a glance at space

Jeff Pearson is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s MFA program and has been published by Noble / Gas Quarterly, Monkeybicycle, Otis Nebula, a capella zoo, Heavy Feather Review, Shampoo, Salt Front, Open Minds Quarterly, Axolotl, Barrelhouse, Entropy, and Moon City Review. He is the managing editor for Blood Orange Review and poetry editor for 5×5 Lit Mag and an instructor at Washington State University. He tweets at @legoverleg. Find more at

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