Back to Issue Forty-Four

A Kind of Weather


I may never move on ice in wordless
synchronicity like the skaters at dusk.

When one lowers her ear
to the frozen lake, they all kneel down. It is
to hear how coldness makes a surface of itself.

Where and when that surface might
rupture—fireflies in the chest.
Their cold bulbs


To observe is the lesser
pleasure. Am I jealous of the skaters I invent?
Childhood’s flicker in their possible chests.

What is called nostalgia is an attempt to track
time, at once forward and back, now circling.

Hunting the invented place, too,
for evidence.
Something hooved leaves desire lines.


Life is precious, monstrous, marked by tides.
Turn to the sea. Not for understanding.


Stretch my eyes beyond the instant.
My lover walks out the room.
Out the window a crow shits on the neighbor’s roof.
Once I thought possessiveness was how to show love.
I press my finger to the space between my brows and push.
Behind my looking is a seashell splayed open.


Saturated with image unshaped,
forming. A fern’s shadow fine-tunes.
My attention chandeliers the present tense.
Not tense as fixture or decoration,
but a way to wear light. Like the heart
is worn, though people say not to.

I think the future wants something from me.


There are many lives I will never live.
Clouds of rain and smoke form
distantly. I get closer in my mind
to the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

If only to burn what I don’t need.


Oh! to be so open you fear no rupture—


I approach I approach I approach
but I take too long I takeI take
off my shoesI put my feet
where hooves left
imprintsin the dirt.


Patrycja Humienik, daughter of Polish immigrants, is a writer based in Seattle, Washington. Her poetry is featured/forthcoming in Gulf CoastTriQuarterlySAND Journal Berlin128 LitNinth LetterHayden’s Ferry Review, the Slowdown podcast, and elsewhere. She has collaboratively developed performance work for Titwrench Festival, GayCity Seattle, REDCAT New Original Works Festival, Dikeou Literary Series, and Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. She is working on her first book, Anchor Baby.

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