The Other Side of the Street


I was touching all this sunlight
when I realized what
can’t be refused
is the renewal of voice
in the dark, and hope as a
spaced thing on the other
side of the street,
the side where I am not
so as to always look into that space
and be free from me.
I think now, now, as I am
appearing real, is the time to
confront a death, to look for
the spirits waiting for me as pulses
against the house windows, against
the jelly light, but what
I can only see is
what I will never see
again, my throat bird-
purple, the house’s chicken
legs turned around, away
from the side of the street
with the hope in it. The moon, cold
presence in the sky, fears, comes
close, I tell it to walk away
and think of more red to become
so it isn’t left crying on the
rocks of grief. In the room’s corner farthest
away sleeps a dream in which
black and white switch places
so what I love can
finally see me. Here
the smaller
nights go on.
They are my sounds.


Self-Portrait with Water and Color

after work by Todd Miyashiro

You came to seeing the world,
it was a different world, time
started over like it can, its

sunsets all made of paper
left on for you. Room
still glass, still mirror,

you paint yourself to see
if any light leaks through,
you count all the autumns that pass

between your lips despite
the weather, your yew
face a star burnt

or stranger.
In your shirt a man of green
and river comes to pay

his debt, though he doesn’t
know the shirt is here
and vanishing, that what he forgot

is what we all forget,
yes, we can touch our eyes
but never see them so you

drown yours, replace them
with browns that have known
the hands of fish and weeds.

Across rain lie brushes that
bruise a forest into
your hair — once, you smelled

like a tree after coming
back to life, — a wolf smolders
behind your ear not in fire

but in moon
cloaked in day and your brow comes
through accidental

purple, accidental
sky. Does that
bother you. To be seen

beneath color. Visible now
the words you swallowed,
your ghost a

strength that cannot
select itself. A cloud sleeps
over your nose so

you cannot smell your
blood, your blood that smells
like you, the cloud just oranges-

up everything. What’s left, it’s still
beautiful. Your shadow follows you
inside you.


Lindsey Warren is a recent graduate of Cornell University’s MFA program and is currently at Cornell not as a student, but as a freshman writing instructor and a creative writing teacher who has been published in The Fox Chase Review, Broadkill Review, Icarus Down, Secret Lovers Press, Lame Kid Zine, Rubbertop Review, Marathon Review, GASHER Journal and Hobart, and has work forthcoming in Dark Wood, Figure 1 and Josephine Quarterly.  An excerpt of the long poem “Incantation” was on display as an exhibit at the Biggs Museum in Dover, Delaware, and Warren is the recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Fellowship and has been a finalist for the Delaware Literary Connection Prize and the Joy Harjo Prize.