Poems and Texts

“The First Apology” by Andi Talarico

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The First Apology

Who was the first person to say sorry
and mean it?

Apology is, after all, a word, and
words are not written in concrete but river water,
coursing as far downstream as apo meant in the Greek,
logos, speech as fluid as current.

Wouldn’t, then, apology mean
to be as far away from speech as possible,
something deeply felt but unnameable,
a grief sustained like a miscarriage
of the heart?

Who, then, was the first person
to express to another,
a tired husband, say, or the
unborn child,

I am so ashamed for myself that there
are no words for it?

How she must have crossed the river of
ravaged language, slipping on each
stone as she went, praying both
to meet the other side

and to be pulled under along the way.

Photo: Andi Talarico

Andi Talarico

Andi Talarico is a Brooklyn-based writer and reader. She’s the curator and host of At the Inkwell NYC, an international reading series whose New York branch meets at KGB Bar. She’s taught poetry in classrooms as a rostered artist, and acted as coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud. In 2003, Paperkite Press published her chapbook, Spinning with the Tornado, and Swandive Publishing included her in the 2014 anthology, Everyday Escape Poems. She also penned a literary arts column for Electric City magazine for several years. When she’s not working with stationery company Baron Fig, she can be found reading tarot cards, supporting independent bookstores, and searching for the best oyster Happy Hour in NYC.

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