Had we known its connotations, the way a word
can rot like fruit, the outer layers growing
vulnerable and soft. The w weakens, falls
as if from a sinking boat, the a—so outwardly tough
in its singularity—hollows like soft butter
under a finger. What remains is what we are waiting for: it.
But the t dives with arms spread wide,
a cross crashing on the shore.

Front page image from Gregor Maclennan.

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Paige Riehl

About the Author

Paige Riehl is the author of Blood Ties, a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press fall 2014. Her poetry has appeared in Meridian, South Dakota Review, Nimrod International Journal, and more. She won the 2012-2013 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and the 2011 Literal Latte Prize for Poetry. She is the assistant poetry editor for Midway Journal and teaches literature and writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, where she is also the chair of the Two Rivers Reading Series.
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