I had a story in me and it was bruise-blue.
Sure, it had some powder-blue parts, too.

Never mind the story. It was meaning itself
Made whole as a robin’s egg, and therefore

It was both ecstatic and on the edge
Of meaning. A wave of wind in the grass

Ruffles the night, and I am left speechless
As a songbird at 3 AM.


Memories burble like bubbles
In a milkshake. They do not matter.

They were what my story
Was about. Never mind the story.

What I am interested
In now is imperfection and how to deal with it.

Love is imperfect and I am talking about love,
Or love is perfect and I am talking

About my imperfect self in the face of it.
Being between seems like a good way to live

After you’ve told your love story. A marble rolls
Across the floor, and no one knows where it came from.

Was it the cat, again? A bowl of milk in the corner
Of the kitchen catches night-shadows and overhead light.

We know the cat has stories, and that they simmer
And purr in her lonely little white-furred mind.


I was like the cat, except I was scuffling along city streets
Looking like an ingénue, an ingénue with the mind

Of a cat. I wanted love and milk, but I did not know from whom.
I found you. Stars collided with the ground in a chess game.

The smile you gave me was a new world.
A universe broke apart my heart.

Everywhere, there was a gold brightness.
My story is this. My story is this.

“Clouds” © Stacy Esch


Jessica Harman is a writer living in Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in Arion, Bellevue Literary Review, Nimrod, and Spillway. Her collection Dream Catcher is available from Aldrich Press.

Stacy Esch lives and works in West Chester, Pennsylvania, teaching English at West Chester University. Digital art and photography are the twin passions that compete alongside her interest in writing, reading, songwriting, and gardening. She has previously published work at Turkshead Review and wordriver literary review.