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Issue 3.3

Fall 2023

Lora Robinson


In writing this piece, I saw the poem as a facsimile of a fire itself: the careful placements and structures  necessary to work in tandem for the thing to catch flame. The feelings reconciled through them—codependency, ardor, near obsession—are as stifling and consuming as the

fire, too. 

Last Flight out of Omaha

build me a fire

across a room

or between my collarbones

the young glue of your tectonic joints

holding high architecture

tell me you love me

even in approximations

how closely I brim with the lips

you touch bare skinned

rolling in grasses


turn me over

a haunting equation

solve my humming the burning

brush that blows through

so much chaos and order

in the golden angles

in the sacred geometry

of our mouths



architect of fire

ask me to stay

show me the familiar spaces

and your light in between

it found me again

love was a smoke trap

I did not imagine

but then how could I imagine you


all instinct and human

and sketching circles around

this moonless night

I am charcoal tipped

drawn and spiraling

so lost and still

just as human



architect of my fires

ask me to stay

let our soft magnet bodies flux

with the current of our hands

flint fingers igniting what is left

of the secrets that hold us separate

and searing


a confluence of bodies cresting

their histories to the surface

granular palimpsests in the rutted

river bed you trudge barefoot

under the hunter's moon with me in tow

doe-eyed and unraveling

in your opaque surround

lucid dreaming that I could be

less liminal and conflicted

and all-at-once


my architect

my fire

what is left holds us

silhouettes of milkweed and night heron

flakes of ash we scrape from our teeth

the rolling river tugging its covers

back over frosting shoulders

me on the last flight out of Omaha

a parallax vapor trail

every door swinging endlessly

banging against the nocturnal enfilade

of the nights the fire built

and broke us

Lora Robinson is a poet and essayist from the East Coast. She is a poetry reader for Cobra Milk, an alumni of Art Farm Nebraska and the May 2023 Inner Loop Author's Corner featured writer. Her work has appeared in The Meadow, The Shore, The West Review, Hooligan, and San Pedro River Review, among others. Her first collection, An Essential Melancholy, is available now through akinoga press.

Lora's Book Recommendations

Promises of Gold, Jose Olivarez

Two Open Doors in a Field, Sophie Klahr

What is Otherwise Infinite, Bianca Stone

Seeing the Body, Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The Wonder Years, Arian Katsimbras

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