Housatonic River moves slow,
brackish water congealed from cold.
Streetlight’s titian hue seeps through the window pane—
my eyes glazed and face swollen with sleep.
An American flag hangs on the wall,
and tin soldiers march across the dresser
bathed in red light from the router,
dirtying the primary colors of my youth.
I’m awake when I shouldn’t be,
and the hallway’s bifurcations multiply.
Gloucester Harbor—Blynman Canal; Stage Fort Park; The Boulevard.
I gaze out at Ten Pound Island
past Eastern Point to the whitecaps.
(Where gulls are babbling.)
From mono to biphasic sleep,
my second sleep, where dark Manhattan towers loom
enmeshed with smoke and onyx sky.
My second sleep, where red, white and blue are burning,
the ashes gleaning and glinting as they die.
I wake to the carmine rays of dawn
and fall asleep to the sound of fireworks outside.
I cradle the ivory dove in its mourning,
whispering, “Am I alive? Am I alive?”

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Casey Stevens

Casey is a poet, translator, and aspiring scholar. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Cornell University studying premodern Chinese literature. He seeks to blend his interest in the imagistic poems of the Tang dynasty with his own poetic works. Ephemerality, tone, and spatiality play a prominent role in his poems which attempt to plumb the interstices of our contemporary world that so often moves at a pace which is prone to neglect both present and past.