This town is a perfect snow globe
on a mantelpiece,
an impenetrable dome.
Waves of puddles on the stone sidewalk
swallow us down &
we become a part of the rotation,
the silent timepiece,
the busted backdrop.
We will never escape it
even when we box up our
drive to the shore &
cradle our kin
or watch them outrun
Still, this is just a thought
just a minute
against an hour.
When the glass shatters &
we inhale the valley fog
for the last time,
we will draw breath as
the pale petal in the
summer storm wind.
Today, there is an urgency not to move.
To instead, bury the worn soles of my feet
in this comfortable, breathable moment,
one that I am certain will not try to control me -
in the same way that the passing hours like to
threaten me and hold me to the slow, choking wind,
who, with the right motivation, will form a gust
just resentful enough to toss my dignity
high from the remnants of my self-esteem.
And as her whispers become words
carved into my cracked, pink skin,
I will transform into something malleable, likeable.
Still, everyone says I am just a phase of the moon,
full and vibrant and eager
until a brighter light begins to scorch my edges and put me to rest.
Now, all the questions I ask myself are characters in the room,
sitting, waiting, tapping their feet for me to answer them,
some so ready to see me stutter and panic,
they decide to answer for me.
I can’t say I’m not relieved by this
but alone, I’m still looking for the fractions
of myself that equaled zero before
I wanted to admit it.
Crescive Spring Tide
it was a thin layer of fresh spring ice
that swept her away
on her way to growing up
& getting out
once, she was a
quick spurt of a dream
one you’ve had before
but now it follows you
wherever you are
brave enough to lay your head
& curl your legs
she comes to you
as the gleam of a single
on the sharpest blade
if only the snowfall
had been pounding rain on the
if only you had tamed her
before she broke free
Our flight arrives fifteen minutes early &
upon stepping onto the gangway,
I inhale the density of the atmosphere &
exhale it through a condensation that
accumulates on stickered windows in
brand new cars.
I write a message that only
I will see & as we pass familiar places,
I feel memories on my skin like
The soles of my feet stepping onto midwestern soil,
The smell of the couch cushions at 942,
The ring of consonants emerging from
our crowded voices,
The harsh, slow shut of a patio door,
The party that’s thrown just because
The “just come right in” phone calls,
The sight of open arms & platters of
Now, I am answering all the questions
I hoped would be asked
Now, I am feeding my endless thoughts
into a familial consciousness
Now, I am as close to belonging as belonging gets &
as the train pulls closer & closer to the only city I know,
I catch myself calling it home & no one corrects me.
Delaney Daly is the author of let’s reverse the roles, She’s Got a Car, and The Number Five, all published with Beautiful Losers Magazine. She is a graduate student in the School of Library & Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University. When she’s not working, writing, or studying, she is traveling to as many new and beautiful places as humanly possible. One of these days, she’ll finally start writing a novel . . . and finish it.