The 49 Days by John Amen

The 49 Days
after Richard Sassoon

Alone & hungry, I woke,
Sylvia’s hands slid across the keyboard,
she & her students hunched over a blue Steinway.
Moments later they vanished mid-sonata,
the piano gutted in the front yard,
chips of ivory scattered in the mulch.
I called into the closets, couldn’t remember names,
barely faces, no one answered, days crashed
like hailstones on a roof. I turned, a man with a blank white mask
reached for my shoulder in the yellow afternoon.
Richard? he said, & the name
meant nothing to me.

Across the berm, ankle-deep in a puddle of gas,
my brother recited the alphabet. He held
a gold lighter to the sky. I heard the tulip tree
cry to the oak, that electric thread drumming in the subsoil.
The earth swiveled, I was cuffed to a long, black table,
a revolver smoked on a purple tray.
In the thick air ripe with summer,
five naked people stared. It’s me, Richard,
it’s me!
each shouted, I had no idea in the muted light,
the now silver room who they were.

Across galaxies, the mechanic from the tire plant,
engine snarling on the highway,
growling under the pin oak in the cul de sac—
he clawed at the kitchen window, that rusty latch,
blade gleaming between his teeth.
I had to get to the orphans before he did,
guard their empty beds, empty fables,
guard their empty rooms, I loaded the rifle,
I had to save the orphans who no longer needed saving.

I’m here! I yelled. My pulse shook the steel beams,
knocked vases from shelves, but Sylvia couldn’t taste me,
the play was about to resume. I couldn’t exit
that endless intermission, floating in the mezzanine.
An understudy clutched Sylvia’s arm,
men in black suits, women in black skirts,
she mumbled as they swept her across the marble.
Dialogue thundered, staccato scenes about a mafia town,
a family that played boardgames inside a block of ice, a salesman
from California who swore he could make it rain. Sylvia
closed her eyes for the second act, I reached through a glare,
I couldn’t land my touch, I was made of darkness.

The dead soldier my father posed by the woodpile
in a Confederate costume, leaning on a sledgehammer
as he slurred barbwire jokes. He demanded laughter,
I wouldn’t give it to him, he looked away first,
I sparked through pine needles toward the curing shed,
he prodded again, again my silence, that embryonic heresy,
we drew our pistols amidst the jumbletrees
where how many black bodies were strung.
Later the drunken giants from concentric hollers
arrived in rusted cars, rolled their dice in the garage,
flung their cards at the moon, drawing blood in the crazy star-glow.
Later he mumbled to himself, that gulp of anger,
& how he wrung his hands, hurling his broken wallet
into the slug-pond, as if rage were his only inheritance,
as if it were mine now, as if I had no right to turn it down,
the fourth Richard, Richard the fourth in a withered line.

Sunrise wrapped the walls, the blind kid
swung his ax as morning arrived,
heaving its way up the mountain.
Wireweed crept across the donkey field,
kudzu galloped over the dry valley.
I couldn’t saddle my ambitions,
couldn’t find my way in the green hall.
I waved my gun, stumbled amongst lamps,
baskets & antique tables, boxes of photos. Later
the piano sounded odd scales, though no one was playing,
the brown bench crumbled, tablature wafted
like pigeons on fire, beautiful alien planet,
limbo swaddled in a morphine blur.

My cell rang in the afternoon.
My friend couldn’t shake his dream,
sitting across from me in a Sunken City café.
I tried to bring you back, he explained,
his voice disappearing in the ether.
Richard! Richard! he yelled into the phone,
the future fluttered in my throat,
I swallowed a river, my confession bobbing to the surface,
not about the dream but my mother & her obsession with birds,
how she taped feathers to my chest
before I dressed & left for school.
Protection, she said, from the world’s poisonous song.
We hung up, I hovered in that private smog,
all day stumbled into walls & furniture.
I couldn’t locate myself, & I kept
hearing the roar of water, though it hadn’t
rained in at least a month.

I couldn’t speak Sylvia my love, this tongue
made of lead, couldn’t translate my afterworld,
gases flaring, icy avalanches in the dark.
Once you lay beside me, muttering in my ear,
I tasted the heat of your breath.
The soil between your legs was loud,
flood on my thighs,
my body the brittle ark
sang through your stormy current.
So much unsaid, word by word
I’m dismantled, not how I meant to cross
this celestial fault line, dashed one tremor to the next,
my final, pulpy work, sprawled on a red chair
at eternal noon, shutters drawn, windows black.
Secrets I kept from you Sylvia, myself, now what remain.

What dark galleon flew the dock, I
perched like a mad gull the razored balustrade.
Then on infinite gangway, then
stretched arms wide to the bow,
I called in the spindrift, wait! wait!
What dying desire insane to stoke
I tore & stabbed with invisible hands.
& the restless ship, plodding mammoth,
roared like a dire Sphinx, lunged from the light,
melting as I quivered on the chain.
& the stranger for whom I felt
such rended love had vanished, I was
sun-wiped, a million stars beyond.

I floated in a black hole, gripping a paintbrush,
offered a wild, evaporating stroke to the eidetic air.
It’s true what’s said about the death-gate flash,
orbits & counter-orbits, gravities jerked & shoved,
that flipbook of faces, then a tunnel, so many shuffling
slack-jawed, carting their self-inflicted wounds.
Thin tethers snapped with each step,
above, around me, voices familiar,
a thrum of planets, I joined the queue
marching through mounds of petrified bone,
memory ever-condensing, dark & light swirled
to produce a love I could never name. Before even the spatter on the wall,
I knew a circle of grief, beauty as acid & balm,
the life so cursed soon tropical, succulent, sweeter in regret.
I was no longer that boy, that Richard, that ghost,
that wispy form flickering in a bardo.


About the Poet

John Amen is the author of several collections of poetry, including Illusion of an Overwhelm (New York Quarterly Books, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Award, and work from which was chosen as a finalist for the Dana Award. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in journals nationally and internationally, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He is a Staff Reviewer for the music magazines and websites No DepressionBeats Per Minute, and PopMatters. He founded and is managing editor of Pedestal Magazine.

Two Poems by Caleb Coy

I don’t imagine you’ll be having any grappa
After my pushing too far to get into
That head of yours.

I see you in the ceiling shadows
I feel you like great eels nibbling beneath me.

The hush of the farm on Sabbath Day
Like the soundless church mouse
Before bellies are branded.

The antlered stag instinctively rubs velvet— Forgive
me, I’m muddying the waters—I’m playing with you.

They say Deborah drove a spike into Sisera
We name some drinks after women
I’ll call my hangovers Deborah.

The tacit agreement of two consenting adults
is all that I am pursuing here.

I delight myself in my imagination, and
You do not. You berate me for my imagination
For my fastidious appetites.

Your tolerance for me is growing.
I dreamed of you with me, a triumph.

I will never deny you.
You will always be to me a perfection
Until the last, the very last.

My heart—take it out, I’ll let you know
if it hurts. I’ll have another shot.

*A meal-concluding drink, usually a liquor served with or after coffee.


Cobbler Gnomes
They say the age of the local Mom & Pop
     is over, and
In times of affliction to plead
     for a consultation with cobbler gnomes.

A night in the garage fumbling in the corners
     tracing the silver lining
Eating in the dark to save light or opportunity
     in a bolo tie when the sky falls.

Cooler heads prevail in the prevailing winds
     a suitcase in the trunk
Knowing we could die on a routine road
     without a moment for regret.

The eyes of the people are upon their bedrock
     not on our sickness;
The Shambala of the world jangles
     in our pockets.


About the Poet

Caleb Coy is a freelance writer and editor with a M.A. in English from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg, VA with his wife and two sons. His work has appeared in The Common, Flyway, and Harpur Palate. He is the author of the 2015 novel, “An Authentic Derivative.”

As I Center the Universe by John Grey

As I Center the Universe

In my bedroom
a white oak is silhouetted
against the Sierra foothills.

Its branches twist,
leaves glitter in the setting sun.

To the left of that amazing tree,
family members eye one another
from picture frames.

To its right,
Juliet seeks out her Romeo
from among the cluttered flesh and bone
emerging from a summer night’s sleep.

It’s seven in the morning
and grandeur keeps company
with bloodlines and love.

A yawn completes the picture.
An axis mundi with the sleep removed.


About the Poet

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Work upcoming in Hollins Critic, Redactions and I-70 Review.


Two Poems by Greg Watson

End Page
You remind me of home,
of winter that calls the horizon
into question for miles.
No wonder I am drawn to you,
making my way through the seemingly
endless thickets of words;
through the story someone else
has been telling all along.
It was a fine story, but
you are where I long to be.
Here, along the shore, where words
come to a sudden end,
weary and useless
as discarded machinery.
You are the place of respite,
place of exhalation,
wind and waves erasing
themselves to begin anew.
You are my true north,
my clearing when I was certain
that none would appear.
No wonder your landscape
is folded in prayer.
I breathe you in,
and breathe you out.
That is all we need to say.


Blue Hour
I still think of you
these quiet, windless mornings,
my mind too tired to chase
such thoughts away;
before the birdsong
and the blue light rises,
before the sound
of floorboards creaking,
from rooms I can never quite place.
I still think of you,
as I sometimes think
of winter near summer’s end,
knowing I could not live
there forever, but missing it
when it’s been gone
so long.


About the Poet
Greg Watson is the author of eight collections of poetry, most recently All the World at Once: New and Selected Poems. He is also co-editor with Richard Broderick of The Road by Heart: Poems of Fatherhood, published by Nodin Press.

Two Poems by Charles Wilkinson

The Orangutan Tea Shop
today’s light
in the Orangutan Tea Shop
is all product, perhaps margarine

it is wet out,
rain pervasive –  even when it stops,
sunset falls with a squelch,
soaping air; the colours
remind us of candles
& cosmetics

‘on the far side of the world the men of the forests
dream of the nests in the green cloud that covered
their world, where was a banqueting on honeys
& fruit; they’d curled in high places, before
the canopy’s retreat’
                                                wild fire, & logging
                                                & then an imperia
of pine oil trees, the loss of the luxury of leaf,
the power to cushion & bandage; grounded,
the last arboreal ape forgets all sky feasts,
& in no forest & little rain cradles her child’

picture of primate & son
framed on the wall



& so in sleeping life entails another language
anxiety of travel encoded as an empty platform
though one thin shadow points across the track
the slow wave transports deep into the dream
a clock repeating rhythms along electric rails

hotel of dormant windows a latent light
no corridor leads back to the room left
the residency for an unstirred repose
nightly a name erased from the register
the syntax swallowed in the circuitry

airport echo & the ambiguities of flight
so just a way the tickets will vanish
illumination as an engine in flames
a passport speaking in another tongue
the controls a feeding of false altitudes

tide-tugged too far from shore & star lost
a mariner’s mishap as blind deep fishing
the compass spins the pure misdirection
a long voyage attests the triumph of water
beads of islands submerged in the map

awakening to day’s blaze is stable grammar
the last rays of a lexicon curling to rest
& now world to world’s untranslatable


About the Poet

Charles Wilkinson’s poetry collections include the pamphlet Ag & Au (Flarestack, 2013) and The Glazier’s Choice (Eyewear, 2019). He lives in Powys, Wales, where he is heavily outnumbered by members of the ovine community, More information about his work can be found at his website:

Two Poems by Raynald Nayler

The Telling of a Dream

Living the dream, two generations dead.
I’m sure this all made sense to you, back from
the wars, happy just to live and feel
winter up the sleeve of your car coats.
But starting in the gone heart of your town—
in ordered curves of roads that are not roads—
where do we aim? Your housewives in their best
kabuki faces driving past the quick-growth trees—
this town is like a telling of a dream:
it’s lost its shape, and what had once a meaning
to the dreamer, is just boredom hanging
in the drapes. Each house on its own well-tended
island is a void of hollow walls, where
we are asked to choose nothing at all.



Past the Trains
You can divide and subdivide in many
little ways: down in this part of town
the houses have sash-windows and the look
of being something in themselves: stained glass,
carved wood and lightning rods that cut
the moon. The trees are old and oak and hiss
their night-time leaves.  The paint on sidings peels
into specific histories.  The town
that was before, now decades under siege,
retains the traces of a town. Flags fade
and tatter under eaves. The white sheets bleach
behind the graying picket fence. We once
were boys who thought of nothing past the trains
and days again tomorrow as today.
About the Poet

Raynald Nayler’s poetry has been published in the Beloit Poetry Journal, Atlantic Review, Potomac Review, Weave, Juked, Able Muse, Sentence, Silk Road, and many other magazines. Born in the Saguenay-Lac Saint Jean region of Quebec and raised in California, Raynald holds a Masters in Global Diplomacy from SOAS, the University of London and is a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkmenistan. He is a Russian speaker, and has lived and worked in the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the former Soviet Union for over a decade. He is currently studying Albanian at the Foreign Institute in preparation for a posting to Pristina, Kosovo.

Two Poems by Christos Kalli

Body : Night
Lately I’ve been asking where the body begins
and where it ends. I can still tell my arms apart
from the night, but dusk after dusk I lose teeth
when I breathe the dark in. I tell the vicious jawbones
I meet on the street It’s just a disappearing act.
Just think of it as juggling a liver and an eye ball
with one hand. The pink sharp nails
choose their fortune card and wait.
Too bad you’ve come so far to see another skeleton holding a scythe,
supposedly a sign for fleshless death. Everything that dies
near me has flesh. I remember a place where
there were more mouths than heads. Tell me
what were their names, who wore whose face.
I need a new name for the graveyard I guard
between my plum lips. When it doesn’t respond
to tongue, I call it migratory swallow smashing
its head on glass, or lilac worm splitting a man
in half. It is so quiet I hear the Lungs complain
about the dry setting. Mrs Lung, in a beautiful
piano black dress, wants Mr Lung to tell her
to undress. Mr Lung wants the dress on, wet,
see-through, so I say Let me drown it for you.




Because I wanted to remain the adjective,
I nailed myself in the noun.

Because even the comma couldn’t stop me
from getting to the end of the sentence –

a lifeline as thin and graceless
as the unfaithful subtitles of a French film

I watched to fall asleep. And there it was,
the present tense holding on to the past,

beautifying it into gravel, pressing it into a boulder
and then rolling it straight at your glass door.

The door is made of glass because
language. Because I have made my decision

from the leftovers: words I failed to translate
before I came to kneel here.

Here, poorly written, beneath
the beautiful actress’s beautiful lips.

You are right, I don’t want to be read lightly,
I want to feel eyes and their desire on my skin.

I want you to come after me
like you would do for any hero.

I am thinking underworld, undercut, undergod.
Be careful: the verbs can’t get you anywhere,

you need to use your legs.


About the Poet
Christos Kalli, born in Cyprus, recently graduated from the University of Cambridge. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Ninth Letter, the National Poetry Review, the American Journal of Poetry, the Adroit Journal, the Los Angeles Review, the minnesota reviewPANKThe Hollins CriticHarpur Palate, and Dunes Review, among others. His chapbook INT. NIGHT / Nightscarred was a finalist for the Sutra Press Chapbook Contest (2017/2019). From 2017 to 2019, he has served on the editorial board of the Adroit Journal. Visit him at

Two Poems by Francis Fernandes

Seneca’s Exile on Corsica
I’ll tell you something. It’s times like these
when you learn to be creative. But you don’t
live by letters and love alone, you know.
So this is what I throw into the mixer
in the mornings: half an avocado, a fair
amount of chard, spinach and rucola leaves,
some Greek yogurt, a half a lime rind
(including the bitter part), a banana and pear,
some ginger, a sprinkling of walnuts,
and a handful of chia seeds. I’m not sure
where chia seeds come from but I’ve heard
they’re an ancient food full of energy.
Anyway, as a late breakfast, this keeps me
going till dinner. It’s fascinating
how the thick greenish mass warms up
when I keep the machine on high speed
for a while. I wonder what chemical
reaction makes that happen. Of course
I could go see my dentist about this abscess,
but I prefer to go easy on the tooth
with smoothies and ice-cream. And beer.
At least for the time being. I mean, who’s
going to see their dentist at a time like this?
What’s the protocol anyway? At what point
do you remove your mask? at the reception?
on the chair? It’s scary enough
with conspiracy-mongers putting
the country at risk, not to mention sowing
violence in the minds of discontents.
I almost got into a fist fight myself,
at the grocery store, when I railed
at a couple behind me in line for failing
to wear a mask and ignoring the six-foot
distance restriction. Nobody else
said anything, so I asked them where
they got off rolling the dice with total strangers,
as if they could decide who was worth it
and who wasn’t. I was all in a fluster.
I had an avocado in my hand and almost
threw it at them. When I came home,
I reopened my Seneca to cool down,
get a grip. Then, mollified enough to think
straight, I grabbed my guitar
and launched into the band’s program,
which, even before this global crisis started,
happened to include an instrumental
version of that song by Sting,
the one that goes:

A hundred billion bottles washed up
on the shore /
Seems I’m not alone at being alone /
A hundred billion castaways looking
for a home.

Sometimes I’ll say the lyrics in my head
when fingering the familiar arpeggios.
But once into the improv, it’s just the music
in my head, no words. My bassist keeps me
on my toes with his fine contrapuntal doodling.
Keeps me from over-soloing like some smug
surfer awash in steep waves. But the point is,
it was just at that moment, after coming home
and playing the first bars of the first piece
of our would-be upcoming gig,
that I started to think of Seneca again,
and what he did in those eight years of exile
on Corsica (before Nero’s mother
had him pardoned and brought back
to the fold to tutor the brat). I mean,
beyond those stoical letters to his wife
and mother and friends in high places,
didn’t he really miss his dentist and favourite
markets? The chariot races and live
carnal contests at the Colosseum? Of course
he did. Anyone of us would gladly soak in
the laid-back, quiet lifestyle of an exotic
outpost, with its breezy port, bitter honey,
and sweet scents of the maquis.
But not Seneca. Some people really need
all the tumultuous action of a capital’s
fires and food processed intrigue
and conspiracy to say something vital
about mastering your passions; need loathsome
corruption at the top to praise
the uncorrupted soul. Grin and bear
the hardships, they say, but deep down:
please take me away from this god-forsaken
place. Weather the storm, but throw me a line,
brother. Give me a go at the little pyromaniac,
at all those messy ingredients, wholesome
or not, for there is always hope:
hope that our civilized ways will win out
in the end, banishing spikes and sticks, daggers,
and those cowardly vials of poison –
banishing it all from the empire’s heart,
sending it all off to an eternity of hellfire –
or at least to an island of rock somewhere
far away in the middle of the ocean.


Grade IV Math Homework

I’m trying to watch the hockey game,
but my daughter the Roman numeral girl,
impetuous, persistent, in dire need
of her own fan base, changes X’s, V’s
and C’s and matchstick lines
into the more familiar single-digit jots
right before my eyes.
These odd squirrely notations, she proudly
informs me (as though she had excavated
a whole treasure trove of plates
and bones), were invented
by sages in both India and Babylon.

It’s between periods, and the Habs
just can’t buy a goal. Management is inept.
Their last cup is a generation gone,
and their last star center… too long even
to remember. But here she is, my daughter,
in front of the Forum, dressed in a blue
tunic, adorned with a pretty bulla,
negotiating with a camel merchant
from the Orient. He does a quick mental
calculation to find out how much
he has to give up to gain an orchard
of pomegranates. The charming
illusionist that she is, my daughter changes
the amount with greater speed
back into those commanding empire
ciphers, insisting the previous stock
did not pan out so she wants that young
sniper with two fifty-goal seasons.
A patrol of centurions moves in
and she gets nervous. But she won’t
leave until she gets what she wants. Finally,
the genie behind the methodology
flies out of the lamp and like a labyrinthine
beast squinting at the light of day,
drives out the bullies and unscrupulous
money-changers, and reinstates
the underdog.

I tell her the period is about to start
and she should go brush her teeth.
But time means nothing to her. What’s
a weekend compared with all of history
(which, true enough, is her other
favourite subject). She looks at the screen
for a minute, then reaches for her
Prismacolors, and still babbling
away, dreams up a picture of a pink-robed
girl sneaking out of a wooden horse,
dropping petals like half-rhyming words
pulled out of her soul – hoping, I suppose,
to overcome the slings of the battle –
hoping, even, to slay the venal formulas
that snapping senators and prelates
throw her way.

I tell her it’s time for bed and to go
make peace with her brothers. She delays
the obvious way by turning her attention
back to the game. She asks me why
I watch this massacre if I know they will lose.
I can’t explain it. For a brief instant
I feel silly wearing the tricolour jersey.
But then, as she trots out of the room,
unconcerned, I feel like a child
again and pray for a win.


About the Poet
Francis Fernandes grew up in the US and Canada. He studied in Montréal and has a degree in Mathematics. He lives in Frankfurt, Germany, where he writes and teaches.

Blessing No One by Jeff Burt

Blessing No One

We are at war
with ourselves
since we cannot be at war
with others

claim a peace
beyond borders
but an occupation

all created =
striving to become ≠
by stabbing a knife
between two ribs of otherness

one’s dollars do not stack up
to another’s dollars
the larger stack
repeatedly takes from the smaller

if not wealth to distribute
the poor ask about income
displaying their poverty
of thinking as well

we build cheap houses
by freeways
so the cost of living

we gather cheap fruits
if you don’t inhale

whites fear
a lost society
have never found

whites fear
a loss of advantage
have never gained

whites fear
a moral degradation
they were never inclined
to keep

a person in a tent
is no nomad
but mad, stripped
of sex, a no-man

counted on
but not relied upon
but not nourished

one’s overpass
is another’s underpass
unless the other
cannot pass over

course the verb
of blood running
coarse the hand
that makes the bleed

we bless everyone
and thus no one
words evaporate
before hitting ground


About the Poet
Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California with his wife. He works in mental health. He has contributed to Williwaw Journal, Rabid Oak, Heartwood, Kestrel, and Tar River Poetry. He won the 2017 Cold Mountain Review Poetry Prize.

Two Poems by Claire Nicholson

Self Dissection

I extract my heart from my torso with a sharp and slender blade. Do not worry—I will replace it. This is only so I can hold it up to the light—translucent and purring. As I anticipated, I learn nothing from this autopsy and return my heart to my ribs. Next, I peel open my scalp. A degloving of sorts. My brain is where the real diagnosis lies. It is filled with endless grooves—I recognize them: my thoughts are like marbles returning to these circuits over and over. Ofttimes repetition creates haunted landscapes and here I hold a perfect model. I could go deeper, plunge my scalpel into sweet tissue, but my brain, this poor record pulsing in my palm, refuses interrogation. Now that it is in my hands I feel gentle with it. I prod my cerebrum carefully and sit to watch it labor.


Feast, Not Famine

You’re packing your life into boxes while I watch from the doorway.

“Here, let me.” You’ve never been good at folding memories—they’re too translucent, too flimsy. You’re trying to force them into perfect squares with sharp corners.

I take them from you and they flow through my fingers like water.

You bend over to retrieve your iron safe. It’s going to the car—and when you’re ready you’ll leave it behind. I wonder at which part of your journey you’ll let go. Will you bury it deep in the woods under the heavy pines and purple sky? Or tuck it into a canyon crevice full of dry red dust and brilliant shards of desert stars? Or will you bring the safe all the way to the other coast and move it into your new apartment and let it hunker down in your attic or under your bed? My safe is locked in the basement with the leaky pipes and our lonely ghost. I’ll bury it when I’m ready—beneath a blood moon with the whispering grasses. Maybe the ghost will go with it and they’ll both have some company.

“Here—it doesn’t feel right for me to take them—” You stuff a shoebox into my arms. It’s not labeled. I open the lid to find a four-leaf clover, the smell of my banana bread, a butterfly landing on a blue flower, a long sleepy drive from the passenger’s seat. It’s every “I love you,” pristine and glowing. I rummage deeper to find a geode, an apple orchard on a September day, an answer, a question, an electric city at night, your lips pressed to my neck, a sunburn on a beach day. You’ve kept them all in such wonderful condition.

“Keep them,” I say. “I gave them to you.”

We already divvied up the dreams. Two nights ago we took my sharpest knife and cut through the sponge cake and cucumber sandwiches and doled them out—we fed them to each other with anxious, eager fingers. We suckled on your butterscotch candies and scraped the last of the maple syrup from the jug. I gnawed on a turkey leg from last Thanksgiving, still covered in your grandmother’s honey glaze while you sautéed onions just like my dad taught you. It was never meant to end in feast, but there we were, nibbling on peppermint bark and throwing grapes at each other from across the room.


About the Poet

Claire Nicholson (she/her) currently lives in Maine. She is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. She enjoys plants and ultimate frisbee. Nicholson has been previously published in Asterism: An Undergraduate Literary Journal and will be published in Gone Lawn’s upcoming autumnal issue. You can find her on Twitter @claire2n.