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


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I can think of at least three occasions
when an older woman has said to me
of another woman that she looks beautiful
because of the weight she’s lost while literally
on her deathbed. Or no, four.

I just want to be a lamb asleep
on grass. Do you lambs love
life? I think you do.

An Altar

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I am doing dishes at night when at once
I can feel every feeling I’ve ever had.
I don’t know, it could be hormones
or stress or books I’ve been reading,
songs I’ve been listening to. I know
now that everything is true. I touch
something I’ve touched before. I’m not
learning anything. I look through
my window to my neighbors’ windows.
I don’t know what they’re learning.
If a truck pulled up right now I’d get in.
With both hands on my heart a gestural
anthem. One hand says everyone in every
room is going to die. The other hand says
that ever since you were born and everywhere
you’ve been, the night sky has stayed
the same size, your skin is always 3% salt.

Appears in this issue

Laura Henriksen’s first book, Laura’s Desires, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books, and an excerpt is available now as a chaplet from Belladonna.

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