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This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde


The temperature is seventy-five degrees.

Elegant and smooth,

Nothing to induce sweat.

The sun is ancient, but not too old so that she

Is forgetful. No one worships her anymore-

No really, not like they used to—

And she wonders why. She

Blisters scripture on skin, boils

Lakes dry, takes in wafers of clouds

As sacraments to dissolve slowly

On the tongue. Oracles of rain

Fade into fog and then burn off,

Messages unheeded.


The evening light is tinged pink

And brassy-gold, is filtered

Through gypsy cloud caravans that in

Passing through

Scratch their backs lazily on the tops of barren

Trees. Near the riverbank,

Dressed in bright yellow slickers,

The fledgling bodies of two wobbling

Planets revolve around each other

Seeking enough gravity

To keep their feet on the ground and

Provide some small stability

In the face of casual floating. Bright laughs

Mimic their rain gear. Yet, behind them,

Emerging from the dense shadows of

Trees, small memories flicker discreetly but

Without caution, as if they are creatures stalking

Ambivalent prey. Sometimes something unrecognizable

Moves there with a shallow breathing that mimics heartbreak, and

Sometimes the sum of everything makes you

Want to just curl up and sleep without

Regard for the sun or the shadows or the breeze,

Pleasant but mostly insignificant, that politely

Cajoles the leaves into whispering giggles.


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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