“and even you forgot those brilliant flashes seen from afar” -Ruth Stone

Now or Later

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Being that there is merit
Makes it feel congratulatory
A horse whinnying in redirection


But it has always been
One of two sets of time
The latter a promise or threat


The former ever averse
Certain choices make make-believe
Others are swept under the bed


Silhouettes whisper stories
And hang heavy in a steamed bath
Above a human figure in repose

Blue

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I’ll wish that it was longer

I’ll wish that it was shorter

I’ll wish that I remembered how good the heat from the blow dryer feelson the back of my neck

I’ll have desired something different than what I originally thought

I’ll have waited a very long time for something to grow,
only to be also dreaming of a way to let it go

I will have asked a lot of questions but none of them being the right ones

I will have talked and talked and talked and talked without it making one bit of difference

I will have learned to reorganize the cabinets, the order, the way the cat food fits next to the cutting boards, incongruous but efficient

I will have laid wide awake at night wondering what will come next

Before Sunrise

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You always thought if you wanted to be that person you could
That the light would enter the room
And that you too would enter
With expectations metered and meaningful
Only a small shadow trailing behind
Instead of this descent
Alette descended subways to an underground world
You descend basement steps
To retrieve laundry and use the exercise bike
Your son sleeps
The cat waits to be fed
And you feel in each moment an absence
Of something more you could have made
If you had only stayed still a little while longer

Appears in this issue

Jackie Clark’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Harp & AltarAutofocusEverybody Press Review, and buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo.

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