Issue #6 March 2016
Detail from Rubble by Amy Casey

Denise Jarrott



All correspondence is failure. Is bog. Is a tongue slogging through foreign words. Is a ring

left on a nightstand never left on a nightstand. Our biographers will never understand the

affect. I will write you no letters, no epistles, no breathing sonnets.                     To have left

nothing to feed upon, nothing felt.


I was pining for Iowa, you for Iona, and no shore or field would have us. I wanted to be

a saint, you a prophet, and no sky was blue or black enough for us. We ended up poets,

sitting sidelong at a side table at the edge of a threshold larger than either would admit.

Nice to meet. You are beautiful. And I cannot love you. I love a man who can make a

good knot, whose footnotes fall cold. You love a woman who bakes bread, wears color

with abandon. What is ugly is the recognition that we want to be recognized.


Woodsmoke and greenery. I have never felt this

Made way through the dappled light. Sent for a sign

Before, I would wake as if I had placed my face between a swan's shoulders, unnerved that it did not move out of the way, not from repulsion nor from desire. Not toward, not from.

Or, feeding my sweaters to a river, as if they were opposed.

To have become a fact of the matter.

Blueprint.       Forager.               a Fugue.


mystery:                          that you could drive to the coast, but did not.
                                          what color my childhood mailbox was painted.

vulnerability:                 standing outside the temple, listening to people singing, trying to assume one
                                          voice.                                that softness of being recognized.

inquiry:                           that I have returned to the island, skirting the ruins.
                                        1that you have taken to buying candles, no longer interested in concealing.

Y (thorn)

Heard somebody tell a story of a land far
from here. He looked past me. He pointed east.
He didn't trust my kind much. He wore an apron
of needles. He smelled bitter. He demanded little, or
nothing of me. His presence was persistent, slenderizing, absolute.
He predicted the very hour of my birth, the very day, the very year,
down to the moment: Sagittarius, whose arrow points always towards
of winter, the only thing of which he was certain. He guessed that my first words were                  the fire.

It all made sense given the few points I knew, and I'd always trusted in the stars,
the cards, their emptiness. I always depended on the boundaries of heaven
and earth, especially when I saw them crossed. I believed in being
careful. I believed in nothing, and thought of it often, kept
it beating madly. I could only predict that which had
already happened, someone speaking behind a curtain, behind a bush.