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Issue 3.3

Fall 2023

J. I. Kleinberg


The poems are always about discovering something I didn't know about the world or about myself. I don't usually understand what I'm looking for or whether I've found it until the words have slept together for a while, and sometimes not even then.

To become a weapon

In this conflict, I am a stone unthrown.

No hand raises me. I am not roused

to strike, but settle deeper into mud,

into meadow, my hard back curved


away from pain. I am still and ancient

and fragile as flesh. Wishing for light,

sometimes I say I am made of moon,

of cave-caught prisms, small animals


of joy. I might sit in a pool in the rain

and pretend the water is not my tears.

But I taste iron, recall the sulfured scratch

where once a match was struck: char, ash,


bone. How easy to blame the fire, ignore

the spark of stone on stone. To wield,

to avenge, to rise, to fall. Every stone

learns that truth is the heaviest element.

J.I. Kleinberg is an artist, poet, and freelance writer. Her poetry has appeared in December, One, Diagram, Pedestal, Psaltery & Lyre, Sheila-Na-Gig, and many other print and online journals worldwide. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, USA, and online at

J.I.'s Book Recommendations

Joanna Thomas - [ache] [blur] [cut]: sonnets (Open Country)

Neil Aitken - The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga)

John Koenig - The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (Simon & Schuster)

Joe Wilkins - When We Were Birds (University of Arkansas)

Joyelle McSweeney - Toxicon and Arachne (Nightboat)

Saeed Jones - Alive at the End of the World (Coffee House)

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