Erin J. Mullikin and Cate McLaughlin

Collecting the Things that Leave

If the moon is big, and can be seen, call it good. Call it something other than the moon. Call it debutante light or turnip flesh. Call it amethyst myth or wine drunk fist,

or yes,

something good, something that makes the ear curl up into itself, something that makes us stop listening to the music the world makes, something that makes us only see the brightness in the moon's wide rising. Its enormous sad face seems sympathetic to us, but it is not.

It is utterly indifferent.

Planes have been flying slowly around me lately. They seem indifferent, but they are not. They are utterly sad.

This must be is the affliction of the listless. We got old. We didn't know.


Erin J. Mullikin is the author of the chapbooks, Strategies for the Bromidic (dancing girl press) and When You Approach Me at the Lake of Tomorrow (Slash Pine Press). Her work can be found in alice blue review, ILK, Best New Poets 2014, and elsewhere. She is a founding editor of NightBlock and Midnight City Books.

Cate McLaughlin holds an MFA from Syracuse University. Her work can be found in the Minnesota Review, Bodega, BlazeVOX, and elsewhere. She is the Assistant Editor for Birdfeast.