Three Poems by Matt Borczon

Selected power house poems from Matt Borczon’s soon to be released book Saved Rounds from Spartan Press


What we teach

When I
was in
my daughter
was two
so when
I would
skype with
my wife
and her
she would
ask me
come home
and cry
because she
didn’t understand
how far
away the
war was
now she
is twelve
and some
nights she
breaks her
scotch tape
dispenser and
cuts herself
with the
jagged end
on her
thighs long
thin lines
like notebook
paper and
when I
ask her
why she
swears she
doesn’t know
but her
therapist said
it started
when I
deployed earlier
this year
to NYC
for the
pandemic I
was working
in a
the therapist
said my
daughter told
her that
all she
from my
last deployment
was how
angry she
was that
I would
not come
back to
her and
maybe she
is still
angry that
I left
but being
my daughter
she won’t
blame me
and she
is still
too young
to blame
the war
or the
Navy or
the virus
so instead
she writes
angry letters
blaming herself
into her
skin with
anything sharp
she can


Every couple days

My mom
calls and
asks me
to buy
her a
bottle and
pick up
her mail
she has
drank every
day since
my father
died she
is trying
to forget
him and
the feeling
of being
alone that
even four
kids can’t
fill and
I think
we are
all doing
this in
my family
but my
father’s ghost
is thirsty
and the
more I
drink the
louder he
gets but
I buy
my mom
the cheap
she likes
now because
she says
it feels
like it
is killing
her faster
and some
nights I
cry as
I try
to imagine
what it
will feel
like down
the road
with both
of them



was 14
and skipping
school the
day some
crazy lady
took 3
shots at
him from
a hunting
pistol on
west 8th
street he
dove behind
a tree
and was
there for
25 minutes
until the
police rushed
her third
floor apartment
and she
put the
gun in
her mouth
and took
the shot
she could
not miss
and Stanley
went home
and never
said a
word to
anyone about
it and
now 42
years later
he eats
like M and M’s
has been
divorced 3
times and
shows up
uninvited to
his daughters
job at
the Mall
like the
ghost of
Christmas yet
to come
he has
a new
woman in
his bed
usually before
the last
one has
gone and
he can
write a
poem that
can make
a grown
man cry
and he
still says
he never
wants to
own more
than he
can fit
into the
backseat of
his car
and I
think that
he is
like this
he was
20 years
too young
when he
learned that
time is
an illusion
and nothing
last forever
so he
has spent
his whole
life running
as hard
as he
possibly can
with no
idea where
he was
to go
because nobody
is ready
to be
that grown
up at

2 Responses to “Three Poems by Matt Borczon”

  1. Pris Campbell Says:

    I can’t get my comments to post on site anymore but wanted to say that Matt is one of my favorite poets. I love all of these, especially the first one.


  2. I’m not sure why but I’ll pass it on

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