Back to Issue Eighteen.

nina simone tells me what i will lose, mainly you



The arrhythmic pulse of jazz makes my back arch
as I strike a match against the curved edge
of your jaw; the thought of you is like stepping
outside after a movie when the light
is too sharp.
I never thought I’d keep a collection of our sins,
organized by a God who loves hooks and cherry tobacco.
How easily you touch my hair
beneath the low pull
of the sun, make the bed where all the small
shudders and eager deaths lie still and waiting.
I want to steal what your lungs do so well;
lock breaths in a box hidden
under a city of rust.
Withheld tongues sigh the names found behind a door
I cannot open. I love you most when you’re leaving.

Rachel Cruea is a student at Ohio Northern University studying Creative Writing and Literature. Originally from Findlay, Ohio, she serves as the editor-in-chief of Polaris literary magazine, and has poems previously published in Sun & SandstoneThe VehicleCollisionBird’s Thumb, and forthcoming from The Pinch, Cactus Heart, and BOXCAR Poetry Review, among others. Corey Van Landingham selected her poem “The Yellow Marrow Doesn’t Matter” for the 2016 Adroit Prize for Poetry.

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