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Once

Life spelled itself in letters, black, tight-lipped: I’ve bled my passions out in spates of ink. The margins bloomed like flowers on a crypt. Once, when my hands were empty, and I dipped them in Night’s waters, there, I seemed to think, life spelled itself in letters, black, tight-lipped. So much was written there, the ...

Impressions of a Bird Song

Its wings spread wide, feathers like spikes to frighten or chide. The eye shocks, suddenly fierce. With violent squacks its cries pierce twilight: it hurls and chokes its curse on impudent squirrels, on sparrows, dumb churls whose demurrals free bread crumbs. A man leans back, laughing. He becomes the sound ...

Cardboard Carton

Cold seeping into bones through evening chill, sitting too long after the sun had set on concrete benches made for afternoon, one thing rose up in arid clarity: What he had inexpressibly esteemed, he’d never made the least attempt to hold— to make it fast by giving it its name or sounding out its underwater ...

Michigan Summer

The dirty cow still doesn’t move. Yellow, dusty sunbeams lean heavily on a window screen where flies make loud, impatient love. Now a rust-brown monochrome, the old barn’s wooden planks hang down in splinters from its rotten crown like teeth cracked on an old comb.   by Cara Valle Original bio from the ...