Back to Issue Fourteen.



Some lives are so twisted in the belly, throat
blue & airless. Corset-bound,

I have no arms left in your repackaging
to hold back cellophane, the walls. Boxed.

Your memory trails the way of an elephant, oversized
for a single room. So I am strung out, hungry, awake.

Hunger is entropy—ever after. I swallow the night,
I swallow the left side of the bed

& pull the pregnant covers over my eyes
of biding with you. Because it is too much to swallow,

because yesterday’s special is today’s
leftover. The tongue diagrams the taste.

I keep diagramming the same years: spoon & cup,
ocean & blanket. We have no bones,

though I drag you with me. There is nothing
to say now. I remember your hands

calloused & all want—the whole is
a fractal of everything. I can see

the pieces. I see mine coming back together
with arms.

little wekiva river


I want no evidence I am dirty.

All the fruit I picked, a dress full,
I let drop—
heavy shoes
on the heart pine floor.
Purpling under the skin, all
I thought I wanted:

the house with its backyard river,
swing set & sundial. Enough wild
bougainvillea sprang to be kept
overlooking the gate. Until now.
Sun falling behind the live oak,
gnomon pointing—

me, stepping out of the dress.

Tanya Grae lives in Orlando, Florida, where she teaches and works as a design editor. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and a BA from Rollins, where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Florida Review, New South, The Los Angeles ReviewSugar House ReviewApalachee Review, and others. Find out more at:

Next (Boomer Pinches) >

< Previous (Emily Paige Wilson)