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Late Grasping

This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

There are a series of white squares on the wall

Formed by light invading through windows overhead.

It's preposterous – 

Thin curtains drawn over heavy binary moons.

Perhaps the rain will peel away the skin.

Perhaps the wind will lift her up enough until

She learns to fly. Lungs rise and fall,

Rise and fall.

She said

the itch is relentless,

Is always there, even if only in the background,

like the nervous nagging of

Sticky lifters as you drive down the street

Just hoping for a few more miles before...

The night enters without knocking.

Clouds veil the inscrutable moon,

The gauzy mist creating an ache that crawls in

And nests in the hollow of the eyes.

Lays eggs

With unnumbered writhing creatures inside.

Creditors waiting their turn with impatience.

Like an owl, the darkness has spit up

The bones of everything it has swallowed.

Her eyes are tiny moribund moths fluttering.

And then, abruptly, all motion ceases.

Her unwritten poems, dusty wings inert and dormant,

Descending, a scale diminishing into nothingness.

Perhaps her soul is melting

Like dirty ice in a stainless-steel sink, small residual puddles

Evaporating in the mid-summer heat.

He knows that to try to grasp it would only

Speed up the dissipation.


David Dowell was born in a brackish backwater of the Milky Way Galaxy. After wandering for quite some time, he currently resides with his fiance in Kewanee, Illinois, where he receives dictation from someone who “is not the ghost of Magritte.” He has been published several times in Quercus and has also published two books: Folk Songs of the Sixth Great Extinction Event and The Martyrs Can Barely Keep Up With the Demand. He is currently working on his MSW degree and a novel.


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