Issue #2: Wanderings, Gemma Cooper-Novack


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My uncle lives on Mount Olympus—seriously, that’s what it’s called. Streets are lined with bulky monstrosities, gaudy and baroque. No one walks up the steep roads, except for crossing deer and coyote.

Lesser hills and hamlets spring open. My feet are learning the difference between grass and moss.

I want to know every square of skin tonight under these skies, under these hedges.

Why am I still stuck here?

The first time I learned the word “circumnavigation” my turquoise bicycle followed my father’s blue one around Prospect Park. When I first got two wheels I wrote songs about it as I rode. This was my second bicycle; I didn’t need songs.

Suburbs are terrible zoos, making issue of who fenced squares belong to.

In North Dakota rainwater hovered at the highest rail of the train tracks. Half of me could imagine trains fording the Mississippi River, crossing the Bering Strait. Half thought we were sinking.

I’m tired of darkness. Can we build camp here?


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