My ghost
you look pale
you should start
separating glass
from paper
do something
good for a change.

The Lesser calls
always at dinner time.
This time his voice
lingers, blue red
lights come in
through the window,
and I must say
I take both
attacks personally.

You don’t say
a lot lately
my husband says
lately, a gesture
for paper folded
seven times over
each our misbehavings.

Don’t you see
when the doctor’s
hand takes too long
on my breast
I’m mapping,
my own trigger.

If I could all
but burn down every
waiting room,
I would have
a better city
to give you.

I have something
to trade,
pressing fauna

coaxing abandon.

You don’t say
the Lesser says

in a way meaning
I hadn’t actually
and for a moment
there, teeth grazing
the bullet, how nice
to breathe in
the dust of
my mouth.





We meant well, writing. The gesture weighed just enough— heartbeat, truck—
the old observation of a moth slapping against walls, light bulbs; less so now.

Like a bad habit, when I lose a silver bracelet at a restaurant, slipped off the wrist,
I say nothing, knowing that sharing the sadness of such loss could kill, less so now.

This was the year this happened, that too. Snow globes & preserved jars.
I didn’t think starving was possible in the summer. This and that, less so now.

He stays up this time. His father took pliers to his teeth this time. It’s early this time—
we stayed up for hours before too, considered sea legs, sea bodies; less so now.

Your instinct was to understand and hold it like a thin yarn scrap,
the first and last you said or did. We were the stopped frame; less so now.

We measured the risk. We are young and we forget this. Another woman moves away,
in another terrible sadness, we questioned our resilience in a terrible city; less so now.

Like a marble hitting another in a courtyard, she wore the linchpin’s impact.
Like a wind wave, all homecomings were lifted up to be set down; less so now.




FLORENCIA VARELA‘s poems have previously appeared in journals such as The Destroyer, Similar: Peaks, Western Humanities Review, -Anti, Gulf Coast Journal, and Washington Square Journal, among others. Her chapbook, Outside of Sleep, was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2012. She is the managing editor of Wreck Park Journal, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.





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