Side Affectation

i hear my grandmother’s voice
on the home video.
it is the same
as my mother’s.
i don’t know what to do
with a sound that empties the heart.
is it enough to have an image?
do i have to make it
mean something?
i don’t like to be touched
or looked at
or thought of most days.
do i love
or do i perform its motions?
i watched my grandmother
reach for me
in the hospital bed she would die in
& without a thought
i lurched back, afraid
if i felt her i would never
get the image out of my hands.
how slow the curled
arthritic hand fell,
how fetal the voice
had become, incapable
of speech.
your heart is only as big
as the amount of times you make use of it. it
is only as big as the fist you make around it.

Gabrielle Grace Hogan is a poet from St. Louis, currently pursuing her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin as part of the New Writers Project. Her work has been published by Kissing DynamiteDIAGRAMPeach MagFoglifter, and others. She’s served as the Poetry Editor of Bat City Review, and Co-Editor of the online anthology You Flower / You Feast. Her debut chapbook Soft Obliteration is available now from Ghost City Press. Her work and social media are available on her website