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by Nick Alti

From here the warmth of the fire speaks loudly of an earlier home,
somewhere with chrysanthemums for stars and if you hold up your hand 
to the light, you’ll darken.       Walk this path passing a raccoon’s head 
somebody nailed to the trunk of an oak & the acrylic dialogue 
box painted tediously above its slack-jawed mouth reads         I never 
learned to ride a bike.        Look here you sufferer, you infinite fish, 
I’m not the pond but the stick lying diagonally across a pile of other sticks. 
I’ve never been water, though I’ve been close, though I was there when 
the moon expanded, grew hair & howled back at us.        Before you left 
you spoke gentle of the earth. I held, three-fingered, a green thread of your 
shirt.        These cicadas, they’re falling dead. They are the heartbeats of seasons. 

Nick Alti exists as a bartender in his hometown of Stevensville, Michigan, until he moves to Holland (MI) where he will continue to exist as a bartender. Recent publications include Birds Piled Loosely, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Newfound. He reads poetry manuscripts and helps edit novels for New Issues Press. He’s currently trying to get into grad school, so wish him some luck. If you’d like, you can contact him at

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