“The One That Got Away”

It will be

like a howl in the night

the demon crawling

through blood

crunching sinew

dripping fury

what will you say

when it looks you

in the eye

and you see

soiled parchment

bent knuckles

a gradient of sorrow

dead leaves

the smell of cloves

will you crawl inside yourself then?

will you forget

your 8:30 a.m. appointment

on Tuesday next

your spiral notebook

your mother in law

your cashmere sweater

your mug of hot coffee

will you remember?

idle in your yearning

//

Words and photography by Denise Ruttan

Starship Earth

He doesn’t like this. The way the stars feel in his hands. All cold and rotten, slimy, like the fish he ate for dinner. He wants to clean himself. He desires to see his skin again. Empty of the callouses of the constellations.

Will it ever be home? Will he ever come apart at the seams and become stardust, like the time when he was 17 and a girl asked him on a date for the first time and he said no because he was afraid? Will it be like that?

Or will he become salmon skin, fragile, falling through the universe, atom by atom? Ripped apart? Torn at his sinews? Will he ever feel like that again?

Or maybe it is just a basketball and a court on a sunny day and it is his turn to shoot.

Morning blossom

I see you

shadows congealing 

in the iris

of your eyes

which manifest

so sublime

even in the mist 

I see you 

even when you’re not okay 

even when you’re trying to be okay 

when you’re okay 

it’s okay to be okay 

I hope you know

I see you.

//

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