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Issue 4.1 

Winter 2024

Cliff Saunders

Breaching the Divide

I was going to toss it on the ground

when I allowed chaos to flourish
and didn’t see a rain gauge skipping
out on me. I made a promise to a subdued
city of stumps to be silent as a key
on a table. I knew in my heart that I
should run while celebrating the first week
of May. Watching banana spiders cross
busy intersections, I turned the corner
outside my gym and failed to hear
a continuation of the struggle between
high anxiety and ocean breezes.

I did not have a lot of hope that magic
would again be kept secret, be kept cold.
Very cold. My yard made me cry
even when it was surprisingly ape-like.
I never felt so fragile as when the world
buried me in the mud of its mojo.
Seeing the glass as half full in the world,
I felt a kindred spirit in the twilight.
Painful as it was, I knew how the spell
was first cast over the snow on red wolves.
Once more unto the breach, I had it in me
to take a stand against their dancing shadows.

Cliff Saunders is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Mapping the Asphalt Meadows (Slipstream Publications) and The Persistence of Desire (Kindred Spirit Press). His poems have appeared recently in I-70 Review, Orchards Poetry Journal, Press Pause, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and The Heartland Review.


Cliff's Book Recommendations

White by Charles Simic and The Morning Glory by Robert Bly


I would not want readers to base their readings on any autobiographical elements they may think they uncover in the poems, because there are none. As a surrealist of sorts, I'm looking for language to explode on the page, for ANY reader.

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