In The Home For Elderly Vehicular Manslaughterers By The Sea

By Paul Hostovsky


The guilt, like the sand, is in everything, 
being so near, as they are, to the ocean, 
being so close, as they were, to the end
of their lives, before they took the lives 
they took. Someone should have taken 
the keys away. In many cases, they tried 
—but the old, mottled knuckles 
clenched, closing reflexively around 
that silver promise, its heft, its glinting 
mountainous teeth. And they held onto it. 
Now the guilt, like the sand, is on their hands 
and on their lips. It’s the grit in the food 
they can't eat. Lucky the demented ones, 
with no idea, no memory, blithely chewing. 

Paul Hostovsky is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Hurt Into Beauty (FutureCycle Press, 2012). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net Awards. To read more, visit him at

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