The Heir | Andrew Coburn
Forced March | Robert Lietz
Dear Leader Dreamer | Gabriel Check
Antipastoral: Dairymen | Amy Groshek
Snapshots of the Epic | Gregory Lawless
Three Reliquaries | Laurence Davies
The Inexorable | Stefanie Freele
Travel Photography | Joshua Walker 
Post-Christmas Inventory | Laura Kolb
Cityscapes, Silos, Blue Nudes | Amber Krieger
Farming Silence | Lauren Ashleigh Kenny
Evan in the Tent | Walter Cummins
Three Poems | Grace Wells

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Rescue | Grace Wells

I’ll take my poetry. And my book. Not its crystal 
award for that’s too heavy and I have far to travel, 
back through years, trespassing even the seasons, 
for it was summer then. I’ve practised the trick
of revealing the heart in the chest so she’ll see
it can be filled and know love. I will force a stair
to exist and for this one night alone, allow myself
be fleeced of the gold life I lead, as I go back for her.

In silence I’ll descend the mountain road. 
They’ll not hear the gate or the lift of the latch 
as I enter the black cottage where the only light 
is her own dimmed glow. But I know my way, know 
he is there to the left watching the film she has begged 
him not to show. Any moment, the scene 
where the football jock holds the head 
of that woman beneath the pool
because she won’t suck his cock under water.

And I can feel the water tear the lining of her nose,
taste it in her mouth, its throb fill her lungs,
so the gasp that echoes down the years as she finally
bursts the surface, might be my own. I can still see 
her crawl from the edge, but I’ll leave that actress
limp away, for it is not her I have come to rescue.
Not her I have come to rescue but my own self hunted 
to the bedroom shadows. The children curled in cots 

and no sanctuary except that last crouched corner 
of the house in the hole she burrows for herself 
by the floor, quaking, beyond tears, her mouth, 
her lungs, her penis-choked throat denied air. 
What can I say to her, ghost-self I have no tongue. 
I hover, extend my arms, the poems, images 
of the grown, safe children. Scoured of faith
she will not believe, I offer her blind eyes the world, 
but nothing will let her rise from this moment, 

only that I stretch out my hand, lay it 
on her head, on the short stubble of her hair.

An Interview with Grace Wells... >

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commentary | poetry | fiction | chicago | spring 2007   

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