Two Poems by Chloe Honum






Alone in my bedroom, I sob, 

and the wardrobe steps forward, 

like a coffin-mother, to embrace me. 


Later, standing at the back door, 

a coyote crosses my vision 

on a wave of snow. This


is intimacy: once, in a supermarket, 

you slid up behind me, 

covered my eyes, and said, guess who? 


Did I recognize your touch or your voice? 

I sleep with the windows open 

and the rain climbs into my bed


like a lover, naked beneath the quilt. 

I could roll over and wrap 

my arms around the rain. 









The psychiatric ward has three levels. We are the day patients, and above

us are the overnighters. Above them are those in the most danger. In the 

common room, the Vietnam vet tells me that his father, the fire chief, 

molested his sisters. When he says, my sisters, his slow, gravelly voice

rises. Then he falls silent. I think he is afraid to be womanly. But in the

shade beneath his ball cap,  the word sisters keeps rising,  like the moon

above a beach where dolphins have mistaken its light for a shared mind,

and are swimming in with the waves.