of whiteness and the horn of plenty,
if it is even a horn; if there is such a thing
if destruction is ceaseless; if my son’s hand
reaches for a cotton blanket or a cat’s tail,
if we have our eyes on him, if I describe
his hand as pillowy; if the world is a tower
of breakable plates for the white son,
if he is unaware of the supernatural-
seeming inventions that sustain white hunger;
if Hades has its own horn made of ivory
for drinking; if hunger tightens the guts
of others; if it is described as inevitable
or accidental; if the description is written
by the same hunger; if he is just a boy
asking about justice at the mall;
if his father and I cannot help but love
his locomotive of curiosity, its erratic perpetuity,
shark, shots, Mars, if we wonder how it will end;
if zoo doctor, if astronomer, if madman;
if we speak of the white shark, if they are
nearly missing, if the bleaching of coral;
if the four of us trudge upstairs at bedtime
single file making train sounds are we acting
as a tribe; if we fear the world; if four feels a tribe;
if our son assigns himself the role of conductor;
if his sister laughs, cheek against my shoulder;
if I carry her body carefully like her body were glass,
a white object; if tired from school, my son dreams
of cities lit up and falling, fireflies collapsing,
bees and honey; if at school he traces letters
with happy concentration; if, using a push pin
to punch out the shapes of continents he asks
his teacher why he cannot punch out the ocean,
why just continents, why can’t he pin-punch the ocean;
if at school he pours water from a red pitcher
into a bowl, spills some, threads yarn through a card;
if twice yearly there is the interruption
of a lockdown drill, the crackling loudspeaker,
if his teacher asks anyone who is afraid
to raise their hand, if she says
              This is for the wild animal
              who may at any moment enter  

Copyright © 2018 Alison Powell. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry ReviewFall-Winter 2017.

Ten planes exhaled contrails,
painting someone’s property lines
across a sky we thought was ours.

The sun surfaced,
and a checkerboard shadow
carved the city into hundredths
before the lattice loosened
and masked itself as clouds.

Now we walk divided, with memory
imposed upon the moment,
rays wandering a graph of absent shadow,
hoping to sidestep felony
as we move through these
unknowable territories.

Copyright © 2018 Art Zilleruelo. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

low red door I enter in
the desert          slaked by rain

in this a kind of format
an interstice      a splice

between the sad time
and the next      sad time

there was a voice that led me           waste yourself
to bone          gouge a barren canyon          in your eye

among the shattered columns
of white          astonished salt

the quenchless     white horizon
above the starving-ground

I stoop to enter          doorframe
weathered      marked with blood

within a kind of corridor
a passageway      a shunt

to lead me toward
a broken          alibi


(what watches from the margin
your belly-knot an oval

I      the zero infant
zone of wish

derivative already
compounding      I accrue

in insequential snippets
accumulate      your mother’s

hated face        I helical
and writhing     you eager

to forget          the weeks
of tattered weather

what the snow gathered up in its hands—


according to a template           compounding
I accrue

bit-torrent                                cryptographic hash

#humandownload                    #mydomain
infernal code                            transcription

infernal code                            transpose
error                              there is               error

no mistake


inside the perfect ferment
of my encircled dark

I am a fern           unfurling           to myself
the mallet of a fist               an eye

mere furrow in the fine down of my face
I am a pure acoustic ear           a larva or a snail

perhaps I am a seahorse           kicking
with my body          toward the light—

I am all pulse                  and membrane
I do not know I am

tethered to the human          to the body
its intent          I do not know

my immanent address        among the crooked objects
the dresser                  and the mirror

the struggle of the narrative           the strangle
of the name                 and who am I

to monster forth           from embryonic pool
that you will make

but will not          mother me)


inside the arid           cavern           a woman
carved from salt        her face a pox

of crystal                    her torso, twisted
gyrates toward the door      I touch her

with my ragged hands           I lick
her unclean skin                     remove

the single votive from my bag
I crouch to strike the matchhead

set the flame to juniper and rue
far off, a drop of water          perspires

through the rock                    my singular
petition             Sister

may I		 never bear


(what watches from the margin:
compounding                 I amass

relentless                    in the doublecloth
of night                       I thread

my vessels                    wind
my bones                      in this mitosis

I inspool myself
as outside on lattice           the slipstich

of wisteria           twines           from left
to right                 its hook        and I

incessant             a day’s amalgamed blossom
we burgeon           we exceed—)


את אלהים ברא בראשית                         את אלהים ברא בראשית
Bereshit Bara Elohim et                   Bereshit Bara Elohim et

& God was a spirit hovering            over the face of the waters
& God was a spirit moving               over the face of the waters

& She created alphabets                  & flung them flaming              through the Void
& breathed them into every living thing


(I spread like damp through drywall
unsheathe my cloudy eye

my muscular intent
the big          reveal

I force my frame          through crevices
wrenching                    toward the light

in all my blunt              & terrifying need—


there was a voice that led me          the child
makes herself           if this is so

what is it she unmakes                the threads inside me
churn & snap                               my body turning

inward on itself                            how many ways
to flay it                                        how many ways

to starve                                        that aleph
flaming signature                          gone silent                in my face

comprised no script that either of us knew


emerging through the corridor
the desert          slaked by rain

between the sad time
and the next                    sad time

among the quenchless columns
of white          astonished salt

the shattered          white horizon
above the starving ground

I touch the weathered doorframe
marked with dirt and blood

in this a kind of format
an interstice                     a splice

I hoist             my heavy pack
I make            my way

Copyright © 2018 Alix Anne Shaw. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

Sexy admires a good perforation:
the pickle jar’s shrink-wrap

that snaps open at the designated seam,
the salt cracker’s occasional miracle

of the crumbless break. The world is held
together with such commitments,

with agreements that build their undoing
into their architecture. Indeed, this world cleaves.

He looks at the outdated map on his wall, then
at the lovers on TV. Some science says atoms never touch. Yet

here they are, he thinks, two as an image of completeness.
The actors, their bodies, right there in the slack

of that sagging sofa. Their primetime lives
sewn together by thin threads of breath beginning to fray

in the flickering blue light.

Copyright © 2018 Douglas S. Jones. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

Murietta says, "I want to show you the best part of being dead."
If ever desire was unconstrained....

No blanket. In their dirtiest clothes they lie supine in the dry foxtails
a mile below the Tehachapi wind farm—distant propellers whirl. From the trunk

she pulls a gallon ziplock of rotten cabbage and shrimp tails, XXX
scrawled in silver calligraphy across the bulge. When Murietta pours

the black bait to the dirt around them, dust. Scavenger weather:
stench and their stillness brings the turkey vultures circling in two by two,

gliding in non-concentrics like a slab of dough bolted lazily to the sky.
Here, amongst the homemade rank and at the end of a feathered gyre, their hands

fill each other. Fingers weave in the dirt, and they are ravenous with a cautious hunger.
Like anyone, they have each desired to be devoured.

Copyright © 2018 Douglas S. Jones. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

How to love like water loves
when it’s impossible to even taste
all the ghostly sediments
each time you take a sip

Impossible to savor
the salt in your blood
the light and island shorelines
in each living cell

When even the plainest mouthful
tastes more of you than you of it



Sweetest of absences
that frees in wave after wave
debris of thought like the dead,
the drowned, the vanished, and yet
sails your lips
on a voyage toward another’s, plying
all luck and regret

Worship, splash, guzzle, or forget
It clears any difference
Stone washer and mountain dissolver
that will
outlive us, even the memory of
all any eyes touched

Wasp and cactus in a desert
Comet through outer space
Sleep among all the cloud-shepherds’ children

A love so perpetually current
it doesn’t care that you love
without even knowing you love
what you couldn’t survive
three days without

How to love like that: wild
dream-sparkler and meticulous architect
of every snowflake
Wise, ebullient, and generous
as the rain

Deepest of miracles
for a time
borrowing and replenishing
a self
overflowing with fate

From Mitochondrial Night (Coffee House Press, 2019). Copyright © 2019 Ed Bok Lee. Used with permission of the author and Coffee House Press. This poem originally appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

translated by Lucian Mattison

Try to find a day for yourself on which you can
iron shirts, wash what can be washed, buy
a new pair of shoes. And this way you’ll arrive at the conclusion
that this type of day is a screen covering your nightstand’s lamp.
The light bulb says Camden Town, 1977, leather jackets,
and you see yourself kicking trash bags because London burns
inside like Trotsky in Coyoacán: the sound of
the metal stock pots against wood, this night and those to come in
gas, water cannons, skeleton keys, black boots descending
from buses, the city in a state of martial law, neck of a bottle
shattering against pavement.
Suddenly, the lights go out and on a river the king-
fisher changes its course: it homes in on the invasive,
sleek salmon.

Martín Pescador

Trata de buscar un día solo para ti en el que puedas
planchar camisas, lavar lo que se pueda lavar, comprarte un
nuevo par de zapatillas. Y así llegarás a la conclusión de
que ese día es una pantalla sobre la lámpara de tu velador.
La ampolleta dice Camden Town 1977, chaquetas de cuero
y te ves pateando bolsas de basura, porque Londres arde
por dentro como Trotsky en Coyoacán: el ruido de las
cacerolas contra la madera, esta noche y las que vienen en
gas, lanza aguas, ganzúas, botas negras bajando de los
buses, la ciudad en estado de sitio, el cuello de una botella
estrellándose contra el pavimento.
Repentinamente se corta la luz y en un río el Martín
Pescador cambia de objetivo: va hacia el salmón injertado,

Copyright © 2018 Diego Alfaro Palma. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

translated by Lucian Mattison

I am that man that has let his time pass in notary offices,
who, waiting for his number to be called, imagines being an English pilot or
a cadaver lying in the Peruvian Sierras. Abandoned within
these four walls, the secretaries turn out the lights and let me
die in those altitudes, already so far away from he who first drew his number
and, enlisted, saw life turned into paperwork. Moving
inward, I say goodbye to humanity every morning, drying in the
sun like fruit on a roof.



Yo soy el hombre que ha dejado pasar el tiempo en las notarías,
que esperando su turno imagina ser un piloto inglés o un
cadáver tendido en la sierra peruana. Abandonado a estas
cuatro paredes, las secretarias apagan la luz y me permiten
morir en esas alturas, ya tan lejanas al que tomó su número y
enlistado vio la vida vuelta un trámite. Marchando hacia
adentro, despido cada mañana a la humanidad, secándose al
sol como frutas sobre un techo.

Copyright © 2018 Diego Alfaro Palma. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern

An aging woman is pushing
a baby stroller
through a park of sun and dust.
Some dolls sit upright in the stroller.

Children free themselves from their parents’ hands
and run closer from across the park.
The woman walks gently
and the dolls are silent,
but strangely the children can hear
high noon crying.
They stumble and follow the stroller,
looking back and forth from the dolls
to the woman who’s pushing them.

The parents are watching the parade
from a distance;
they call their children’s names
but their voices are lost
between the sun and dust.

The woman walks
calmly, her pace is steady.
No one knows
who she is
or where she’s heading.


From Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Liu Xia. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press.

Pleasure is black.

I no longer imagine

        where my body
        stops or begins.

Skin transparent.
Face speckled

by the spit
of several centuries.

All the borders stare at the same fires.

Oh Mamere,

        I'm sorry.

Here I am.

Copyright © 2018 by Robin Coste Lewis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 6, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Our father becomes one. Barrel-Chested
with Longboard seeks Mate. King Father
is dating. Long live the King. He asks out

colleagues, neighbors, strangers he meets
at Spazzio’s Jazz Night, Zuma Beach.
He dates the moonlight, his reflection,

the long-ago that got away. The King says
Why the hell shouldn’t I get what I’ve longed for?
Nip waist, taut tum. Where is she? His exile

from the good stuff. You girls can’t imagine
the pain you’ll cause men. Nope, we don’t
& we can’t yet but we do know the King

cannot consider us worthy. How could he?
As women, we fail him daily. Love, I’m learning,
is peeling your mind from your body, throwing

one or both sad sacks of self out to sea. Love
is blood & our father. I give no inch. I judge
the world from the margins of diaries. Men

are the problem with everything. King Father
slices lemons from our lemon trees. Citrus grows
in the grove beneath my bed. Mom lived

in our guesthouse for three years before leaving.
She peeled herself slowly off his heart like a scab.
What is the point of such maiming? Now the King

isn’t careful when he walks by the branches.
He barges through trees & their thorns.
King Single can’t remember his heart soft

& rindless. The new women are beautiful,
or not, or enough to get by. I watch him
take a lover. She is insane. The king peels

a lemon, lays each slice on her plate.
She requests lime. He hands us
whole fruits when we eat at the table.

He takes his longboard to the ocean,
                                  kicks flat water into waves.

Copyright © 2018 Cait Weiss Orcutt. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.

	Church of the Holy Spirit, Rohatyn 1924

You enter to escape
the cold & find a canvas of St. John,
                  his hands unsealed

to write. Other icons,
painted in vibrant reds, mounted
                  on wooden walls’ slick gloss. All white

men, suffering and suffered. Christ,
stripped. His chest: ribbons
                  of bone. Archangel Michael, Abraham—

young boys again. You ask them about
hunger. How to outrun changing
                  flags like a child outrunning its name. A war,

past, yet still humming. Your mother
thinks God must be dead, but you ask
                  the sky to show its hands. For manna

to frost the cemetery’s leaning statues,
forlorn rows. To frost wood, overrun by lifelines
                  like an old man’s palms. For red

water to spill forth from the Hnyla Lypa
cursing below, its name already lost
                  on new maps. You search the saints’ eyes

before turning, light ivying
their faces. You think a house can keep
                  you safe. The bodies, buried. Doors

that won’t spit you out. You search
their hands, empty as spoons. They can’t take away
                  what you pray. This weight: fist & bone

& wail. In their silence, you hear blood,
as it spins like air through a windmill’s vanes.
                  As it coppers the chambers, makes them flame.

Copyright © 2018 Chelsea Dingman. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fall-Winter 2017.