Maureen Seaton & Denise Duhamel

12 Lines about Gender (Florida-Style)

I looked to the sky, a UFO above me, or was it a gender
rolling over and over in that big sky like a female
orgasm, delirious with flashing lights? Intercoastal intersex
is so lovely with its salt water and its fresh: true Two-Spirit
brackishness. I mistook a manatee for an androgynous
goddess of rising sea and sinking city, gender-fluid
silver ripples along her back. I spied an omega male
kayaking quietly through musky mangroves, all genderqueer
with their gorgeous underwater roots, their agenda agender
and big love (the nursery of the world!). One transgender
spaceship (or was it a cloud?) was tired of cisgender
sand hogs and sea bullies and wrote across the sky: Bye, Gender!

12 Lines about Gender (the Cosmos)

I believe there is no one on the planet luckier than a bi-gender,
who, like a hipster trickster, lives above the fray, unidentifiable
in their lovely/lanky/stunning/staggering way beyond cisgenders
and their scripts. Monday I’m a femme, Tuesday, androgynous
as a moon pouring light in a cosmos that’s so gender-fluid
it holds Castor, Pollux (twin boys) and Venus (so female,
she’s star of both morning and evening, leading the sun, male,
and earthly Gillette to name a razor in her honor). Agender
ex-planet, Pluto, boasts 5 moons of mythical transgendered
radiance. Astronomists spy on Nix, its interstellar intersex
moonstruck self, as they fly by Pluto to confirm its two-spirit
orbit. The Hubble zooms in on each lovely sphere, genderqueer.

A former proud contributor to Posit Journal, Maureen Seaton has authored twenty-one poetry collections, both solo and collaborative — most recently, Sweet World (CavanKerry Press, 2019). Her awards include the Lambda Literary Award, an NEA, and two Pushcarts. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry and many fine literary journals and anthologies. A memoir, Sex Talks to Girls (University of Wisconsin, 2008, 2018), also garnered a “Lammy.” Seaton is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Miami.

Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Scald (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). Blowout (Pittsburgh, 2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching! (Pittsburgh, 2009); Two and Two (Pittsburgh, 2005); Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001); The Star-Spangled Banner (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999); and Kinky (Orhisis, 1997). She is a Distinguished University Professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.

Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton have co-authored four collections of poetry, the most recent of which is CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). With David Trinidad, they edited Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry (Soft Skull, 2007).

Fortunato Salazar

first anacreontic scrawled in dior addict fuchsia pink on fair skin in alice, tx

If God popped
into your Master
and spun birth
certificate and
$100 U.S. currency and water?

One week of being
set upon nonstop
each time we clear out,
before we even clear the door.

Kubler-Ross boxes
from going so long
punch-drunk on locker
confiscation bonuses and nothing dirtier
than flow from the tap.

Ominous Masters
inverted. Insults,
likely. God manned
a tower for just such flutter.

second anacreontic scrawled in dior addict fuchsia pink on fair skin in alice, tx

I debate circumcised
guy, he wrings out verse.

I wring out verse, I’m child preacher.

Just break down your Alpha Kilo Juliett Victor,
circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing, He’ll
give you all you need,

give Him all your worries. My bed is in a room, the room
flesh made by hands, in the
long hours alone I practice forensic in recliner.

What am I in this proof. I’m mute and I barter at the door,
and let us not be weary in
well doing, for in due season we shall reap.

Nor is uncircumcision anything, this is the
counterbalancing assertion, for neither is
circumcision anything, I’m untouchable like a distant
diamond sky, I’m not

insubordinate in the service of the enemies of bigotry and
narrowness.
The confounding calm shatters
fear, complacency. We restrain ourselves from each

encroaching on the other. Was anyone called circumcised.
Let him not renounce
his circumcision. Anyone been called in uncircumcision.
Let him not be circumcised.

It’s like poison to me not to triumph in debate or even to
leave the wrangling
incomplete.

Fortunato Salazar lives in West Hollywood; his recent writing can be found at PEN America, Conjunctions, Tin House, Mississippi Review, Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere.

V.S. Ramstack

a tissue place

i had tennis shoes i had your
ring on this pinky on Pedialyte
gatorade swig swinging blue

check on me to say: five tangerines         today, maybe one
more tomorrow
believe in the
sweet water & hand
you in my sugar mouth
i’m sorry i’m so —

i lit my hair on fire
& the smell was
it was a death with
honeyed scythe
meat so tricky

the burnt
bones and sanitizer
childish fire         over
the body of a milking cow

don’t read too many books
on obstetrics because the
womb is not ours to hold
in a tissue place

my silly scissor mouth

when the phone
when it rang
rang off the hook
screaming wax on

a hanger rack
cow will wail // okay?
tender speckles
under a microscope

i am soft wheel and brunt
iron forged
in my mother’s mouth

dear child

dear child hiding in the capillaries,
dear child licking the salt off the horse block,
unafraid of the way the beast flips up its lip
you have a leash to neglect and this may be
the very time to do it,
it being soiled shoelaces,
grinning skin and new lightbulbs
here’s a watering can waiting for water,
and fingernails hinged to mimic the moon’s-shape
grab the magnifying glass to the left
the inner you may shout this, a call to arms
it is subtle but tinged with
a flowering breath
dear child won’t forget the flick of the
hickory whip on the wrist, so like the
horsetail to a fly
its brittle & sticky limbs oh so
clung to the first landing it stuck
its six legs create a space for air
and then some
oh child your innards are a green light for more landings
but perhaps the watering can is still not full
ask what full means
ask what best or time means

V. S. Ramstack is a Pisces, a selective extrovert, and an avid crier. Besides poetry, she enjoys cats, flowers, and checking out too many books at the library. She received her MFA from Columbia College Chicago. Previous work can be found in Columbia Poetry Review, Night Music Journal, Curator Magazine, and Oxidant Engine Journal.

Maureen Owen

Distortions

—for lg & cs

vast white ruffles of cloud
bustling         dense         whipped
froth

rich fuzz of tawny         & slipping green
banks as tho herds of seals
sprawled         soft & slopping hills

dying her long black hair         black

I dyed my mother’s hair. I was 9 or 10 and we were too poor for her to frequent a salon. My mother had beautiful long black Irish hair, but she had gone white suddenly in her late 20’s. I would pin my own fuzzy, reddish hair back from my face, don big Playtex yellow gloves, and put on an apron. My mother would mix the magical Lady Clairol formula that smelled of hydrogen peroxide, put the same black-spattered blue towel over her shoulders, and hand me the bulbous squeeze bottle and her comb. We’d set up in the bathroom, fashioning a bright commercial, aluminum-capped hanging bulb. I had a special washcloth to wipe off quickly any black splotches I squirted on her forehead or ear tips or on my own arms. I would part a section of her hair, lay a careful line of the black dye to the roots of the part then comb it in and up and down the long strands. After we’d let it set in for an instructed length of time. Then, with me still wearing the oversized gloves and she still in her blue towel, we’d go to the larger kitchen sink and I would kneel on a chair and give her a sudsy shampoo and rinse out all the extra dye. Bending over her shoulders and neck I could see the black strands flow apart and the white of her scalp emerge in tiny winding rivers.

 

she could put on her left ear hearing aid
but not         her right         & sometimes
she could not put on her left either

back then
she would swing me up behind the saddle of the smokey mustang
go full gallop up the cow pasture til the very end fencing
my skinny arms wound around her waist for dear life         bounced
and flung          my sides pinching & aching
then         turn and gallop back through the cows         leap up the ditch         trotting
the gravel driveway        back ino the yard

 

I’d hire a cook
mince a scallion
boil a whale’s tooth

gusts bunt the pine tops
flat fir boughs whirl         float back
carve         a circle         sway
in place

sloppy sails (low slung)
A tad too oversized
flirting

braces
hymns

this roof is hers

 

Scarf Washing Day
nightly

At bedtime I mix in a Japanese sake cup a few drops of lavender with a small amount of olive oil and massage it into the bottoms of her feet, up and around each toe, and over the instep arch, paying special attention to the heel’s rough sides.

On her frail shoulders and curved back I gently rub Sarna crème and down over her bow bent ribcage and into the soft tissue at the nape of her neck. Sarna with its soothing creaminess and ability to lightly numb the skin against itchiness in the night.

 

that same train
ironically
later         that same day         robbed
by         different robbers

crisis night
ate at 7 — too late
open windows
close windows
too hot         too cold
get up         sit down
get up         sit down
wars with the pillows
needs ice in her water
leg rubs back rubs
needs shades raised
then lowered
bottoms of feet rubs
can’t breathe
get gum         get 7-up
needs more ice
bring in standing fan          and set up
Shut off standing fan         too chilly
more pillow fluffing         positioning
layers of pillows that won’t behave
some nights          we die several times         a night
some nights

Maureen Owen, former editor in chief of Telephone Magazine and Telephone Books, is the author of Erosion’s Pull from Coffee House Press, a finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Balcones Poetry Prize. Her title American Rush: Selected Poems was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and her work AE (Amelia Earhart) was a recipient of the Before Columbus American Book Award. She has taught at Naropa University on campus and in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing Program, and in Naropa’s Summer Writing Program, and edited Naropa’s on-line zine not enough night through 19 issues. Her newest title Edges of Water is available from Chax PressChax Press. She has most recently had work in Dispatches, Positive Magnets, The Denver Quarterly, Vanitas #7, Bombay Gin’s Anselm Hollo Issue and New American Writing. She can be found reading her work on the PennSound website.

Ryan Mihaly

Excerpts from “B-Flat Clarinet Fingering Chart”

[G♯/A♭] [Sarcasm]

ryan mihaly

[C] [A split second]

ryan mihaly

[D♯/E♭] [Vision: chaos of birds]

ryan mihaly

[G] [Vision: peace]

ryan mihaly

Currently based in Greenville, SC, Ryan Mihaly is a business manager at a farm-friendly grocery/cafe, a music teacher, a collage artist, and a poet. His work has appeared in 3:AM Magazine, The Adirondack Review, DIAGRAM, Opossum, Asymptote, The Massachusetts Review, and in Ilan Stavans’ anthology On Self-Translation: Meditations on Language. After completing his MFA at Naropa University in 2018, where he was an Anne Waldman / Anselm Hollo fellow, he attended artist residencies in Ireland, Macedonia, and Slovakia, where some of these pieces were written.

Jeffrey Hecker

from Ark Aft

Boar & Cow

Boar notices Noah’s wife’s name varies depending on source text. Haikal
introduced herself to me as Percoba, says Cow, yet Vesta to Boar. You
think Emzara’s trying not to be identified? You think Norea doesn’t know
who Tytea is? asks Boar. Both ideas can be true, says Cow, I believe she’s
twenty names deep so we remember her husband, who never talks to us.

Ferret & Hamster

Ferret posts I feel everything I ever fancy or require within reach.
Ferret’s alcoholism perturbs me, posts Hamster. I clench apexes,
zeniths, vertexes, apogees, pinnacles, Ferret re-posts. Hamster
re-posts Ferret intakes so much Stolichnaya vodka, her eyelids
Alice blue, after a gown Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter danced once.

Hedgehog & Horse

Hedgehog wakes ready for a four-hour day of listening and smelling.
Horse wakes not quite ready for a twenty-two hour day of monitoring.
Hedgehog is lactose intolerant. Horse cannot vomit. Hedgehog road-
fatality is highest in Ireland. Ancient Egypt and Late Middle Ages ate
Hedgehog. Horse subtracts and adds up to four. Horse hates violin.

Hyena & Kangaroo

Male nipples aren’t broken doorbells, chimes Hyena. Kangaroo
contrasts more to evolutionarily defunct switches, perhaps once
allowing the chest cavity to unfasten or lock. Was the body too
open, and needed shut? Hyena says surgeons removed mine.
After non-profit research, I firmly reckon they were sand dollars.

Tiger & Lion

Tiger asks Lion what type fire should we be, if we die wise?
Lion answers the class D metal kind. Rain upon us, we just
accelerate. Lion asks Tiger what type water should we be if
we die dim? Tiger answers I want us triple filtered, reverse
osmosis, sprayed, Delta Maidenhead ferns convert us to air.

Mouse & Skunk

Mouse accuses Skunk of eating the whole honeybee population
in Brattleboro, Vermont. Skunk’s burrow is busted. Millions
of bee wings coat the inner walls like high-quality Muscovite
windows. The tubular house smells embalmed. Mouse cracks
a few wings for ventilation. Fertile clay sand silt buries us all.

Jeffrey Hecker is the author of Rumble Seat (San Francisco Bay Press, 2011) and the chapbooks Hornbook (Horse Less Press, 2012), Instructions for the Orgy (Sunnyoutside Press, 2013), and Before He Let Them Guide Sleigh (ShirtPocket Press, 2013). Recent work has appeared in La Fovea, LEVELER, decomP, Entropy, BOAAT, Dream Pop Journal, and DELUGE. He holds a degree from Old Dominion University. He’s a fourth-generation Hawaiian American and he currently resides in Norfolk, Virginia, where he teaches at The Muse Writers Center.

Katherine Fallon

Laurel

I live in denial, and move from top
to bottom, left to right. Regardless

of what role I play with you, I’m happy
to let you lap me every time. It may be

true that we are nearing the end,
but we’ve still got some light left

and a place to go to, go around,
to harness. Think fainting goat, unshod.

Pronounce the word laurel. If you can
help it, Prettiest, join in. Shudder.

Striking Eel

In order to feel powerful, I pretend
to choose over sleep, a change of clothes.

Itʼs happening to me.

Brightest eyes of all in the sheet-less
hours of early morning. Tongue

the most secretive, striking eel.

Breastbone most visible, most wanted
and so most likely to split open

onto white meat and, really,

the handsomest of purple hearts.
Iʼd salt it to keep it safe, I would.

Make believe I have the choice to fall

and so, fall.

If the Room Caught Fire

Heirloom garnet choker, wedding dress pillowed inside
a dry, paper cloak. Passport and birth certificate, provided
your mother hasn’t failed you and lost it.

The box that belonged to you at 13 reads You Probably
Shouldn’t Open This.
Inside, love letters folded to be birds,
written on birch bark, sprayed with perfume.

I’m not even kidding. Your privacy, once endangered,
is given now to strangers on the train, the bus. Any queue
is now a chance to speak. You think the past a reason,
so you explain it, but you don’t understand:
it doesn’t say anything about you.

Gold Star

Dog-tongue boutonniere, seamed
stockings, black garter belt

or slow song. Hand on the gear shift,
soft-centered truffle, oyster splayed

like a crime scene. Always, the clanking
of teeth: a toast. Always, a woman’s spirited

breath the hot air of an oven,
yeast risen against me.

Katherine Fallon’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Colorado Review, Juked, Meridian, Foundry, and others, and will be included in Best New Poets 2019. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. She shares domestic space with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses.

Gail DiMaggio

Fallen Child: A Triptych

I know it’s the past because
my mother’s still alive. She says:
mother-daughter dresses,
says we’ll be beautiful
and alike. Walls rise
in columns and rows of fabric.
She tugs at a bolt
labeled “black watch,”
and the yards spill over her
in green rapids and upstart waves,
and a salesman with the mouth
of a grim old grouper
swims out of the darkness
to accuse her. But I
am already stripped
and draped in white voile.
Let’s wear the curtains
in the sunroom,
I say,
and she whispers:
But then we’ll know
we’re naked.

positInkSpash131210.small

Lily and I live in the tangle of wild
raspberry under the pines by the river bank.
Perched on rocks, we play morning birds—
raven I say, crow, she says—
then under the high sun
she dares me to take off my t-shirt,
and when I say: what if our mothers—
she laughs, so I tug it off
and my doubled-up braids swing
heavy and crooked onto my shoulders.
Lily breaks the rubber bands,
unweaves the plaits, tugs
at the strands till my eyes sting.
Sunset, we mark each other
in mud and berry juice. On my left side
she draws a cross, two drops
of blood. Along her collar bone,
I write it out in words: I love Lily.

positInkSpash131210.small

A girl-child lies naked
on the lawn where she fell
asleep. Wild hair haloes her face.
Grass flecks her back
like a pelt, molting. Beauty
in the curve of an ear, in
the shadow where her under-leg
vanishes into the secret.
Coming upon her un-posed,
irresistible, her mother takes a picture,
while the girl—shoulders hunched,
hands under her chest—goes on
dreaming: a coarse tongue
to groom her neck,
a fish
to nibble her fingers.
After Sally Mann

Spilled Sugar

She slept in a white room,
silk organza ruffling at the windows,
her satin spread
always slipping onto the floor,
like spilled sugar, like
the day she stood wiping it up,
wiping it up, and I asked,
Are you mad, Mamma,
and she looked across at me,
startled, as if someone unexpected
had wandered in, then smiled
and said, no, little cabbage,
not at you.

She tore up the witch grass,
but saved the lettuce sprouts, said
robins could find spring
but ravens have more truth
to tell, and if we’re not careful
how we point a tulip bulb,
it will wander in darkness
forever. Mornings, she divided
the snarling wilderness of my hair
into shining loops of braid.

I was afraid
of my father’s letters
boxed in onyx,
mother of pearl.
Afraid of the brass man
scowling on the door,
and that time she
floated in dream air
begging the wind to ripple her,
to make her less, make her
over, make her silk organza.

Creature

If I look behind me, I’ll see
the high window
where my Ivory Soap mother
scans and searches but
morning brave
I dare her to catch me
licking my arm for the millet taste,
crouching to poke
the truck-crushed frog
as she leathers on the tar.
All afternoon, Goldenrod’s a sad bird
with a yellow beak,
and bittersweet’s a nest
under the hum of the power lines.
But what if dark, and no
calling voice, no bath,
no sheets, no Now I lay me.

Once, I tried to keep
a furred, green caterpillar
in a Ball jar on my dresser.
It spun a cottony thumb
on the inside glass
and never got born again.

Ravenous

My brother a sleek
Buddha in her lap,

she taught me hunger,
then taught me: that’s enough,

and when I sinned by wanting more,
she said: how many wings


do you think a chicken has?
my pajama feet slip-slipping

in the night kitchen, I drained
a bottle of his formula—

gritty, lank-tasting.
I learned to strip

the gristle off the bone, chew
the twisted corner of the sheet,

dream the chunk of teeth
on the brittle rim of an ear.

One day she found me on my knees
under the honeysuckle trellis.

Yellow blossoms like dragon faces
wilted and broken around me.

The last of them
still in my mouth.

River, Cattail, Cold Window

Jimmy said a dog was lost near the river
but maybe it was a boy, and we’d be
heroes, but I didn’t want

to risk the swamp just because
Jimmy said so, and, besides,
How do you know


it’s a boy? Maybe, it’s a girl.
The weird marsh grass
like licked cat fur, the hissing rapids.

I wandered
telling myself stories. A girl
wearing a necklace of cattails

diving into the river, breathing
the river. And suddenly in brown water
a luminous shape—

lifting a hand, wavering past
with gelatinous grace. I whispered,
There she is.

In the fall the cattail I’d hidden
in my closet exploded
and my mother hit me

so I’d learn an outdoor thing
from an indoor thing.
But winter and my father

stamped his boots, my mother
peeled pie dough
finger by finger, and the window

sealed my lit face indoors.
I pressed my hand hard against the pane.
Let the cold burn.

Gail DiMaggio is the author of Woman Prime, selected by Jericho Brown for the 2018 Permafrost Poetry Prize and published by Alaska University Press. Her work has appeared recently in The Ekphrastic Review, The Tishman Review, Whiskey Island, and elsewhere. She resides in Concord, NH.

Ryan Clark

VII. [ vie ]

VIII. [ vie ]

These poems all come from my manuscript, “Arizona SB 1070: An Act,” which is a homophonic translation of the anti-immigration bill of the same name passed in Arizona in 2010. My method of homophonic translation relies on the re-sounding of a source text, letter by letter, according to the various possible sounds each letter is able to produce (ex: “cat” may become “ash” by silencing the ‘c’ as in “indict,” and by sounding the ’t’ as an ‘sh-‘ sound, as in “ratio”). These particular poems are translations of the 7th and 8th pages of the bill. As can be seen, the source text is present in gray above each translated line, so as to better show the poem as a rejection and rewriting of the bill.

Ryan Clark writes his poems using a unique method of homophonic translation and is particularly interested in how poetry responds to the oppressiveness of borders. He is the author of How I Pitched the First Curve (Lit Fest Press, 2019), and his poetry has recently appeared in Bear Review, Yemasse, Painted Bride Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review, and HOLD. He is a winner of the 2018 San Antonio Writers Guild contest, and his work has been nominated for Best of the Net. He currently teaches creative writing at Waldorf University in Iowa.

Paula Cisewski

The Becoming Game

A loon I can see calls to more loons
I can’t. I dip my toe in the water.
I do not walk on the water.

I do not walk away from the shore.
Everywhere, something ecstatic
seems to be beginning, just a bright

feeling in the air I’m not sure I am
invited to. Usually I’m in a city. I mean
usually I’m in a house in a city writing

the poems of an inside person who
frequents the insides of schools and museums,
a little pet-like it now seems to me. Where

the forest meets the shore, some mushrooms
have muscled their way up into being
part of the understory overnight.

Maybe it’s not crucial you know this
about me but when I was a kid who
couldn’t sleep, I played this game called

“becoming.” Panther, egret, rhino, shrew:
I shifted my bones around, growing new
ones where necessary, sprouting feathers

or hooves, whiskers or tusks. Are there people
who don’t need to know how it feels to be every
living thing? When you’re a woman, people will

say things to you like “Lean in!” or “Think more
like a dude!” and it reminds me I never once
as a child in the dark attempted to “become”

a financially secure grown human being.
This luna moth caterpillar inches its way
along the path I’ll follow home. It’s fat, nearly

translucent, which means it’s ready
to crawl up in a tree and chrysalis. Exactly
the kind of small thrill I won’t usually

seek. My instinct is to take it off this beach
which I don’t. The patient water all around
and somehow the loon I could see is gone. No

loons and no hoot and no wail and no yodel
and no tremolo. They found each other, I’m
going to assume the silence means.

I will begin by mentioning the word “Surrender”

I arrived at John Berryman’s
grave: a stranger

paying homage. But to a man’s words
or to a man? His marker in the grass

hard to find and unremarkable.
Consider Berryman’s verses

versus Berryman’s broken
ego slurring Henry this Henry that

in grayscale on YouTube. Oh yes.
I’ve had to give up somewhat here

wrote the man. Metamorphosed,
no song dreaming. I knelt, and on

large paper, made a charcoal
rubbing of the poet’s stone.

Since every live thing hungers
for a possessed beauty, my share

of which I never want to spill, I once
stitched cups to my sleeves. Nothing

clever to say about that. Then graveside,
these next things happened: A coyote

emerged from the hedgerow and loped
across the graveyard at the very moment

a bluebird lighted in a branch above
my head. Once, I read a fairy story

by this young girl who opened with
the phrase, Once a pond of time.

Once a pond of time! I watched
the coyote leave and listened to the bird

sing, and as much as I suddenly knew,
and how part of the fabric I felt,

it still took me two more years
to quit drinking completely.

Esprit D’escalier is the term for
when the perfect thing you

should have said occurs to you
moments too late, once you’ve left

the person whom your wit
would’ve shriveled. What’s

a term for the perfect thing you
should have said to yourself? What

a perfectly dead souvenir. Still,
that girl’s perfectly mistaken

phrase exists, and so, inside it
I am nearly reborn with joy.

Notes toward Homecoming

What does lost mean in this context? The displaced past of a less-so world?
Or when I won’t write at a sentence I don’t want said, groping around
In the dry of a dark spell and woops get turned around to meet the gaze

of The Griever? O nostalgia, my half-finished manual of style.
Felt a kindness bubbling up for someone (myself) who’d belittle it, guaranteed.

“Projections change the world into the replica of one’s unknown face,”
said Carl Jung. Fine, Carl Jung! The Griever’s eyes are something like mine soon.
I finally wrote my unspoken sentence, looked at it, looked at it

longer, burned it, looked at it burning, smelled the overdue smoke of its
going from me, and it’s gone, hushing me: a fled burrow, finally.

Paula Cisewski’s fourth poetry collection, Quitter, won the Diode Editions Book Prize. She is also the author of The Threatened Everything, Ghost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks, including the lyric prose Misplaced Sinister. She lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches, collaborates with fellow artists and activists, and serves on the editorial staff of Conduit.