Copyright © 2020 Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.

Soil and Sound

tell me: have we still got time?

our teeth cast long shadows in the yard.

soil and sound have held us close,

shallow breaths and tightly clasped hands.

in the bath my jewelry is weightless,

and my fingertips shrink into me.


sometimes, when the trees are bare

and mist skates the surface of the lake—

let me start over.

sometimes, when the trees are bare

and cold sunlight clings to my sweater

like bright static, I think of the summer

that I knew her, and the fall when I

no longer knew her.


We were grass underfoot, quick-limbed

animals that felt before thinking and

smiled before feeling. We were

tumble-rough and ratty, dark-eyed

and warm, sunlight in our hands

and feet and hair. When the sky

broke open we were strong, and even

laughed about it afterwards. And when

the wind came, we held each other

close though our faces were still and

our bodies were shaking. We were

sea foam and stinging sand, crabs

that crawled sideways and scuttled

beneath the water. We were footprints

that washed away, we were the

creeping waves. We were the park bench

that overlooked the lake, we were the

statue that held out his frozen hand, we

were the gap between her two front

teeth, the dappled sunlight and

the wild thing that cried and howled

in the grocery store parking lot, hoping

not to be seen.

Trail Mix

we park on the dry riverbed—

mountains rise around us like

frozen swells. the gravel crunches cold

and breath colors air, rosy

faces cradled in knit hats, wisping

hair and low voices and singing


you and I, we share

a bag of trail mix though I don’t

eat any raisins. the m&ms

glitter and shift and settle

and I want you to say

that I’m pretty, or that you

missed me, or anything

at all. we’re tired

and in each breathless broken moment,

the sunlight dances

on the shingled roofs and

on the pavement and

in each aging eye.

Magdalene Kennedy is an artist and writer originally from Nashville, Tennessee. She is currently teaching English in Miyazaki-shi, Japan. Her art and poetry can be found in The Marr’s Field Journal, The Voices Project, and Sheila-Na-Gig. For more:

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