by Colleen Coyne


Fight the passage when it widens. Swallow bricks like little pink pills. A wall’s
no cure for loss. Nor glue. The gooey honey of weeping hives mirrors eyes.
How those names stay on.

I want to be the one who cuts the cord (I do not mean the doctor). Who rubs
your name clean. Imagine our senses stuffed with granite. I guess we’ll
call it gratitude.

If time is scaffolding, then sores sprout on armor. Or whatever rots in the jungle.
Home is where seeds parade down the river, among drifting whorls of scum.
If you widow me, I’ll only think of windows.




You boarded, attempted the fly-over zone.
The map on the endpaper began to resemble the trail of years.
Now open, in leaves and in snow: the wingspan of certain retreat.


Long, wide pass of the blades, across glass and built-up snow-gut.

How I remember: if ice is a thin horizon, windshield slice, winter jelly fish—
lie flat under star-copse, re-align heels along state lines.

During a thaw, slush lines widen, spill into our shoes and flood the jetways
clear, full. Expand and crack the tarmac: impassable.

Star-ribs. Tail-radials. Ring of rust.

Calm. Bright.


The new year finds us well. We wish for little else.
Just bluff bodies, spindle shapes in shadows. Safe landing.

Of course bells ring; of course a tongue will never be a fossil, a wing.
A light.

It only leaves traces: tails, wine stains licking a dark sky.


Blush and bristle, brace for take-off: clear
the curdled dawn, raze the feathers.

The only way over? Passing turbulent flow.
Wonder how far. These things take time.

Faster than the lights that blink this departure, your return.

Colleen Coyne is the author of the chapbook Girls Mistaken for Ghosts (dancing girl press), and her work appears in Sou’wester, DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota. She now lives in Massachusetts, where she is an assistant professor of English at Framingham State University and part of the team at Tinderbox Editions. More at