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2 poems by Josiah Nelson


Two thirds of the moon

dissolves into day.

The poems are leaving me

again. I only wanted

to watch them twirl

through near-blue sky,

where the crows call

as long as they must

and the rain falls

into each crack

it can find. What is

human loneliness

but this soft

decay. Leave me

by the window

where I can feel

free of everything,

but please

come back

the moment I am.


I sometimes wonder

who will do the kissing

when the sun burns out.

My roommate tells me

metaphor is an attempt

at illumination, which means

when it’s gone

we will have no metaphor

for metaphor. We might

only grow fonder for what

is out of reach, without

words for the feeling,

only black velvet

space surrounding the moon.

I can imagine a future in which

no one will do the kissing

except the poems

in the darkness of day

where their meaning will remain



Josiah Nelson is an MFA in Writing student and sessional lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Existere, Vast Chasm Magazine, Queen's Quarterly, Hunger Mountain Review, and the Rumpus. He placed third in Fractured Lit’s Monsters, Mystery, and Mayhem contest. He lives in Saskatoon.


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