Alexandra Mattraw

/ Vigil /

a hiccup of light
where I flashes
in and out   :   room
to whip hours
verging fiction
until ours leans
to real sea

 :  make rooms
ripen the smell
of a heart   :   rip
out the iris
to see under
cadence moving
berber   :   wood
  :   flesh where I
fells speech to

honest as any
treeless place

/ Vigil /

// confide to the invertebrate hour / hurrying to sharpen these windows / leaning on the sun / as checkmarks shine across / pages to hinge / fence wings / a house sparrow clamors / footprints beating within / chest flutter / widens eyelids to rehearse seconds / to narrow impulse / I split / infinitives to / engolden / dirt and breath / tethers bone / wedded to this / addiction to holding in / the swarm of things //

Dear Believer,

Imagine waking to a white room fitting white sheets of words on a nurse whose eyes hold no other color asking of the pills Why are you so afraid in the corridor of her unlined palm she asks Don’t you love nature she says like a ghost echoing she says nature to brand the white fever of her finger onto your tongue she says All you are doing is taking some of the sea into your mouth

Alexandra Mattraw’s full-length book of poems, small siren, is available at Cultural Society (2018). She is also the author of four chapbooks, including flood psalm (2017, Dancing Girl Press). You can find her poems and reviews in places including Denver Quarterly, Fourteen Hills, Jacket2, The Poetry Project, and VOLT. In Oakland and San Francisco, Alexandra curates an art-centric writing and performance series called Lone Glen, now in its eighth year.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.