Volume 35, Number 1


It’s too soon to say.
It’s the moon finally gutted
in the last grand romance
after the long, painful removals toward the sea.

The city apes desert when midnight looms.
There is a faint interweaving of stars
bottles rolling windchimes.

In the desert, the blooming trope
is the safe calyx. Thank you for writing
so we know you’re alive.
Your heroic couplets. That golden syntax.

The hammering of human shields
the child comelier than the gun
the policy seat-of-pants, raw meat on a skewer.
The teeth biting through a thread.

It’s metallic beaks and osseous char.
It’s the keening that pierces concrete walls
and the single, lonesome bracket. The ghosts

trying to call on melted phones.
How prayer became hands around a neck.
The solar eclipse too blurred to see.

—Carol Alexander