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Editor's Note



Three Poems
by Amy Nawrocki

Loving the Maybes

When lips are lonely for hydration
and the landscape has just passed by,

when the body consents to yield its search
for a hand-out, and you can only lean
against the bark of a tree, but not the tree itself,
close your eyes and wait for hues of green
to soak your gaze. Wait as shades of indigo
coax you out of hypnosis, then endeavor to spin
in the earth’s lonely trajectory without wings
and fall headfirst into the mango light of sunrise.
Embrace the possibility that a boomerang returns
not because it knows its aim, but because
it loves the accident of color.


Thinking avant-garde rather than criminal,
we snickered to each other when we slid
nine dollars Canadian across the counter
for the Cohiba, packed Havana leaves away,
and sealed our fate as smugglers.

It is a muggy July evening when at last
we take it out of the makeshift humidor
in the coffee table, clumsily knife off
the end and sit patio-side for the smoke.
As the sky shimmies and dark cherry embers
roast at the end of the wrapped cylinder,
my lungs fill. You blow silver rings
and we sip young scotch, yet with each
inhalation we journey closer to wiry hands
folding leaves intoxicated by peat and moss,
earth-rich men rolling a hundred at a time.
Loving the flavor and richness, we become
defectors from history and recognize
there is more honesty in a Cuban cigar
than in all our charred and amateur rituals.


After watching the logs crack and char,
heat stretching to my bare shins,
and daylight fading to its perforation,
the riverside tent closes us in
for a sleepless night. A nearby campsite
chatters into the late evening, and we beg
the shades for sleep that arrives only
with shackles. The July air is damp,
and I shiver beneath skimpy layers,
a mistake the cold night reminds me
to pay. With every sigh my waking self
catches the beginning of rest, only to throw
it back to the dampness. When the edge
of morning hacks in, we lumber up
and slug the short way to the foul
outhouse, then return to the dew-wrapped tent.
Grumpy, cold, I fold myself into you,
my head finding the slope of your chest;
into the crux of sleep we fall together,
a shared pleasure we had never known.
We turn as one into the shell of a spoon,
your arms robed around me,
and in this posture, we fight the tremors
of the long night and doze,
saving bones from a frigid lair,
saving the next day from our sure
exhaustion. We flame into the now.


Amy Nawrocki teaches English and creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. Her most recent chapbook, Nomad's End, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010. A work of nonfiction, A History of Connecticut Wine: Vineyard in Your Backyard, coauthored with Eric D.Lehman, was published in Spring 2011 by The History Press.

Copyright 2011, Amy Nawrocki. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.