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


At midnight we made it
To South of the Border
I wanted to enter that spaceship
Rising from the interstate
Supplant every human fear
Of a zombie rush in the parking lot
With hope
That I could make something
More of love if I saw it being dragged
Away, saw it actually leaving, to know
The future like that, to feel myself
More complex
Backed up against a pure dystopia
To live, me and the store clerk
With whom I’d also fall in love
Having fled to her side
Just as a groping arm came lashing at her
Face. Anyway, standing under all that neon
Cradling the glorious print work
Of wolf with feather
I felt my legs tingling with the actual event
The zombie onslaught, the total love.
Later somewhere in Florida
Two dogs tried to maul our car
I asked you to circle back on that dirt road
Even as I felt the terror of intense mania
Charging us again, I saw something in the eyes
Of those dogs, the flood of love compelling
their likely death
Something about understanding the length of a rope
How in actual events, little can bind
The extent of which we choose
To protect one another.



Coming out of it

After the ceiling landed on my head
and you left out the bedroom door
I unfolded the sound my body felt
the long drone of an accordion
exhaling the wreckage.
TNG was still playing and it seemed
I had been asleep for a century
lost in the sexless shape
of my brain.
I yelled at the quivering oddity of my
smashed in head
Round out, Round out!
Reckon with the disappearance
of feeling full.


I ate some sugar and opened the window
for the fist time all year.
Sometimes I can’t access god
so I do aerobics
for 3 minutes
and think of swallowing
the voice of Donald Trump
because tenderness is always my aim
and I want to love him.


The earth is singing wryly
at my window about its death, I can’t focus. 
It feels like a ghost
tap dancing, trying for some fun
but with no skin in the game. The earth doesn’t care
what happens to it, really.


Sometimes all we can do
is take on one another’s transgressions
and when guilt shoots through
the core like a spring crocus
we’ll pile on top of one another
at the foot of the bed and lie there
until god’s like, hey is your soul still viable?
We’ll start laughing nervously
& that’s enough
to show how capable we are of living.



Ode to Futureless-ness

I must be loved quickly before the legs become too strong-looking
before the silk flower wreaths appear on the door without irony
I tell you, as I crawl under the rug lying on the lawn. Goodbye
I say, and disappear under it. I’m under it eating grapes
franticly and think today, if I could lasso you
with a grapevine and make you look
at me like you used to, I’d do it violently
but later instead we watch a fine Russian film in sepia and dream
each of us is in our own tiny car riding
the vacant and weeded rails into the cannibal future.
My head moves through one grape and then another. The mole rises
from the ground, looks at my grapes with longing.
Somewhere some moon is starting life
and no satellite will ever know. Somewhere in some small space-motel
something has a poster of me on the wall and has no idea
what I am or why, but I will be wearing a grape-stained lip
rocketing into a perfect and dense futureless-ness with no clothes on
and I will look like nothing but like gorgeous T.V. snow

Appears in this issue

Leanne Ruell is working as a poet and mother in the wilds of Vermont where she lives with her husband, son, dog and sundry spiders.

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