Back to Issue Eleven.




The details are as yet unclear
as to the how and where –

how to arrange the bones
with their ends touching like so,

and exactly where to conjure
the handful of dark purple

heart – and the timing of it.
See, the parts won’t fit

like we were taught. The cloud
folds into a box without

assistance, cools smooth and heavy
like milk glass in the child’s head.

We should probably fill
the rest in beneath it until

it looks presentable, add meat
to the rough frame we’ve made,

but I also sort of like him this way –
loose and preliminary

in his conception, a sketch
of slender branches

caught in a river eddy
on their way elsewhere. Better,

maybe, to leave him like this,
unfeeling and questionless.

Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014), winner of the 2013 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, AGNI, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, The Harvard Review, Best New Poets 2011, and others. A two-time fellowship recipient from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Sarah Rose has also received support from the Breadloaf Writers Conference, The Ohio Arts Council, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. For more information, visit