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"All Her Buzzing Eyes"
  Willow Fagan

"Dance Our Shoes to Pieces"
  Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

"Every Hand a Winner"
  Romie Stott

"The Days of Talking Mountains"
  Paul Jessup

"Cremona"
  Bruce Bond

"Leaving the Garden"
  Joelle Jameson

"Brilliant Cannibal"
  Robert Lunday

"Earthly Paradise"
  Brian Glaser

 


Leaving the Garden

by Joelle Jameson

After Lynda Hull



Of course there’s the rose

stunned on its sun-warmed trellis,


but also the pair of slugs’ blind feelers

brushing the bird bath’s rust,


the constant rearrangement of the sharp path stones,

their underfoot crunch. I’ve always loved


the idea of transition—one that becomes

more obvious with every petal


dropping to the brown grass, every flock of geese

honking at the stream. Must be that flight


that makes me think of airplanes

when summer ends—static proclamations


of the airport lounge and thin, gray carpet

instead of grass and goldfish in the pond.


Two years ago I broke the ticket in my hand

along its serrated edge and wished


for the small stone I found when I was eight,

split perfectly in half


to showcase every shining flake inhaled

in its gasp from the earth’s core.


Not one for teddy bears, I’d hold it

in the murky hours before sleep,


the stone’s nearly spherical tendencies

defying nightmares. A miracle every morning


to find one perfect half not an inch away

from the other. Some jerk I’d be


coming from across the ocean

to show you something broken


in that poetic uncertainty

that loses rhythm each time it’s replayed:


once, a golden meeting

accelerating in darkness,


kicking up the morning dew;

twice, that same dew drying


over flowers grown

thick with weeds; three times,


and the greenery recedes

to betray a figure, still in the garden,


crouched at the water’s edge

clutching two halves of a stone, still saying look,


look how I hold it together.


Joelle Jameson received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College. She writes for University Advancement at the University of Houston in Texas.