Issue #2 |

Dear Colin Clive

The remedy: anesthesia at the back

of the throat, numbness spreading

up and out, down and in as your grip

on the stem of the glass grows loose

like your consonants. The difficulty:


to keep a human heart beating,

the seeming-simplicity of lifting

a creature toward the flashing sky

with the turn of a crank, with pulleys.  

With ropes. The electric crack


of ice in the shaker, the lurching fade

of promises. We lie about our need

for a second skin. Each time you’re asked

again to cry out,  It’s alive! another

bolt slides home against another


oak-plank door. Each time the Tesla

coil snaps its synapse whip across

the cold stone, your surgical gown

tightens across your chest—and mad

or playing mad matters less and less.

Ruth Foley lives in Massachusetts, where she teaches English for Wheaton College. Her work appears in numerous web and print journals, including Adroit, Sou’wester, Threepenny Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her poems can also be found in several anthologies, including the Best Indie Lit New England anthology. She is the author of the chapbooks Sink and …

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