Lindsay Illich


Something Christmas. Moss.
Out of nowhere, an orange.
A fan blade. I’m stealing
this next one: the cathedral
of a half lemon. Halved.
The small glass heart you carry
with your pocket change.
Revenants. Attention. An
uncalculated gesture towards
something. A staircase going
somewhere. The snow before
the snow, before you know
if it’s really snowing. The
crescent-shaped tears in a peach
from your thumbnail. Drawer
pulls. White towels. Rowdiness.
A good belly. And, oh hell,
I’m gonna say it–the moon.
But also your bright face.
In the light of it.


Gray-muzzled dawn, her airplanes
& alarms, the daughter gone,

the grayscale slipshape of her bones,
the between the blinds beginning

to glow. Seconds then minutes & hours
then days, until a whole body of not

her grew like the seam that inched
from pubis to belly. Blessed is the morning,

its gray matter, its cinnamon and once
in New Mexico at the hot springs

we pulled off all our clothes
in broad daylight, bright poms of marigolds

floating in the water, cedar waxwings
high in the branches, a milk sun

burning across a thick pan of clouds.
I knew nothing of her then

& for days I’ve wished for that
same innocence. The blank snow,

the bad reception I gave her, the day
here already. I ache for summer.

Lindsay Illich is the author of Heteroglossia (Anchor and Plume, 2016), Rile & Heave (Texas Review Press, 2017), and Fingerspell (forthcoming, Black Lawrence Press, 2020). She teaches at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.