Issue #2: SOMBER / DISTANT / GHOSTLY, Emily O’neill


soon you’ll take me / across the mystic to spy pond / don’t fall / asleep across the last train’s broken back / you have to transfer soon / use the coins from your eyes / forgetting will appear in you / naturally like a redness / from scratching too deep / against your will I inherit / a faint green glow / the water is growing / between us and the other islands / I didn’t anticipate / black roses I didn’t open / my hands to scatter the seed / frost is coming up / again like we kicked / dandelion heads off / soft green shoulders / yes everything is green including / our quotations the rain / welled up in the ground / until it couldn’t close / its mouth / stay quiet / the house across / the way is haunted / it bristles when the train / because the train / is too new to negotiate / don’t fall asleep or wake / or shower with any windows / open to the palms / gone empty of grain / here’s a fist full / of hair here’s ice in my mouth / I can give it to you I can speak / soft cat to follow you / home and haunt your ankles / there’s a shadow running / along the wall now / an opening for rabbits here / check your watch a third / time to see if you’re getting / anywhere other / people say you can’t keep / sadness as a pet but / we feed ours twice a day / here with a little machine / named food giver it doesn’t / blink or forget to drown / the plants at appropriate / times I couldn’t say / we’ve ever been happier / than since the graves fell / open to reveal / memories we didn’t bother cooking / until firm to the practiced hand / we didn’t plant  them / either yet they are green / same as speech / on this borrowed / tongue the one I keep / for emergencies / is an ambulance coming to catch / the blood to use / on someone else /  I don’t have any / change I’ll write a check at the tollbooth when / we have to cross that bridge the customary way / which means paying / a sign of reverence you understand / the old gods are very mannered / have the clouds gone / red yet are we / waiting still for the ferry it was supposed to arrive / at the dock hours ago / try putting the coins under / a pillow maybe / then they’ll give back our wisdom / teeth


Emily O’Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her recent poems and stories can be found in Gigantic Sequins, Muzzle Magazine, and Vector, among others. Her debut poetry collection, Pelican, is the inaugural winner of Yes Yes Books’ Pamet River Prize and forthcoming in 2014. You can pick her brain at


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