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this morning it’s

almost as if I need nothing

but the grass wobbling

outside the window the blue

peering through the gold oaks

the music Fox picked for me

humming beneath it all

almost as if I won’t soon shake

and startle at anything unless

I rise from bed to eat don’t

take me from this quiet I

came here to learn what

it means to house you

in my body once I had a name

that sounded like light skipping

twice across water when I heard it

it parted the mud of my mind

I loved to listen to it lift

the tongues of my loves but

I’ve had to give it up God are you

the hunger beginning the nothing

my stomach holds I’ve decided

I’m not what’s named I’m what swims

through it the motion not

the body like the wind

see me through what I move

I’m not the leaves

God I’m the trembling


ARRO MANDELL (they/he), originally from Brooklyn, now lives in Ann Arbor where they are currently a fellow at Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan.


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