One mind was the size of an owl, another
the shape of a watch, another didn’t have
the time to think. Though a few of us smother
in water or smoke, even more die in the salve
on a bad conscience. Aphorisms …


I fell.
nothing happened.
the pines still hoarded
snow’s white knives. lightning came.
thunder woke the horses
from their dreams of astronomy
and burned pastures. swans
dipped their black question marks
into the black river.
I fell
and nothing happened. I dug a well.
swam two miles. swabbed my makeup.
went to bed. I was young
and still had time to pray.
I was the cross
crows form in the sky.
sometimes I was the sky.


Jackson Holbert is originally from eastern Washington and now lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in


is a perfect facsimile of human
anatomy, its hood fronted by a white
frill, its two orange flaps labial,
its tube an invitation. A slurry
of blackbirds shakes up; something
is fruiting in the kudzu. Goldfinches
spin, yellow ricochets in …


We drive through the intense sun,
and the fields listen. The dead
stand and wave, but we don’t
see them in the glow
of our optimism. The ending
is already written, but we
have not been told. And the dead…

After Years in America

I return to St. Petersburg to meet Svidrigailov
In his room inside Crime & Punishment
Two hours before he places the revolver
To his right temple & pulls the trigger
After telling a stranger in a gray soldier’s coat
             that …