Spring 2008

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 1


Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

Laura Sobbott Ross



It was not malice
that made me do what I did,
but some distant thundering valley
that shook my bones
and pulled them one by one
like a shadow across the forest floor.

But what did I know
of golden keys
or velvet tongued serpents
that parted walls of quivering green,
to whisper the weight of the ages
poised against my teeth.

Timelessness spiraling
in a shell on the back of a snail,
that glistened in a trail
along each perfect leafbud—
like an awkward kiss goodbye.

Adam, I can count one less bone
beneath your flesh, there
across your heart.
I wonder if you ached
when you remembered how
the leopards used to lick our palms.
The air was full of petals
that never withered, never fell.

Winter came too quickly.
Suddenly naked,
it was as if we never knew
what it was to be hungry,
and to search every stem
that hissed and dangled out of reach
for just one bite of something more.


Girls Born of Water Signs

If they had looked into our palms,
those men with fingers cold
as a dew point on a beer bottle,
they might have seen the tracery of tides,
as if holding an egg with a fissured shell.
Weren’t we, the girls born of water signs
supposed to be blessed with intricate

sensitivities? We laughed,
my Pisces friend and I, at a guy
with his tie in his plastic cup of beer
when he asked us both out for seafood.
Saturday night, a moonless swim

between the bodies and the bar,
its concrete floor littered with oyster shells.
Fishnet swags throwing shadows across
strangers’ faces who almost came close enough.
A friend, born the same week of November,

ruled out the boys of earth and fire and air
who offered morning boat rides on the river,
the compromises of sun and wind.
Oh how I wanted to take them at their word,

shake the neon from my hair,
wait on the shore with my skin burning,
the thump of pearl between my ribs.


© Laura Sobbott Ross



Poetry    Interview    Translations    Fiction    Book Reviews

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