Back to Issue Twenty-One.

to astronaut: on fall



Now  love  even leaves are surrendering
their last drops of water  final burning

colors to the ground  & now I can see
the house across our lake  yet I cannot

wait another staring moment for snow
to hold still the birch branches  to cover

the truth of these vigilant trees  it’s more
than I can take  our water is still blue

just deprived of light  along the shoreline
deer tracks in sand are hearts cleaved & marching

not away  I’ve built a blind from the dock
I pulled to pieces  cross-legged & armed warm

to watch Moon rise  bright rock at lake’s bottom
one more blurred surface that I cannot walk.



Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of Errata (Southern Illinois University Press, 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Award, and In the Carnival of Breathing (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition. Her poetry has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize. Recent prose and poetry have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and Poets & Writers. She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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