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ISSUE:  Fall 2022


A finger so tender 
the diminishing coneflower’s center shocks        
a needle,

up through reaching skin: black barb underneath
whorls of the human tone: this buckled flesh home
to a whisper 
in the rising up up up 
the pushing out 
of all that does not serve it
if one has the courage to release

pain in the softest areas: a trickster pain—

like the rain on a Sunday of Septembers full of rain—
the air so watery the cupboards’ boxes and their contents
turn to sponge,

though we are hungry 
though we are hungry as a child is hungry 

and you remember

the child: the air on a lost Sunday when the sun was warm at the bottom 

of the hill and someone handed over a peach or an ice-cream cone
and the hour was sugar on the skin—

was thimbleberry, was black raspberry

running down cords of long grass growing just past knees carrying 
a bursting heart to meet the long day head on—

hands plunging into mud and mushroom groves

and at night, lilies folding back into themselves under tangles
  of front-yard constellations—living patterns coursing naturally against

a young sleep that comes on only because of fatigue in the body—

the eyes, the mind porous in this brief scene 
but to waking and to light



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