Clean Slate

You wake at night to strange noises,
I say shhhh, it’s only the wind. You think
something is one fire, but all things being equal

the poison is just as sweet
as the honey and with it comes forgetting.
There’s nothing to fear. You and me,

we’re in this together. The first time
you climbed alone, hand against stone.
I threw you a rope, well, I would have,

I mean, I meant to, but all I could see
was myself. I remember the good parts
now. Let’s forget about the breaking,

the fractures in the most private of places.
The bones of us are finally fusing. Excuses
taste medicinal and stale and anyway

I have no alibi. I miss the taste of you.
Let’s try to calm our shaking hands
as they move across cheekbones, down

the taut, shining skin of the belly.
On this the darkest of all roads, the ghosts
are beginning to falter.


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Crystal Condakes earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University and has attended workshops at The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a regular contributor to The Improbable Places Poetry Tour, which brings poetry to local businesses in Beverly, MA. She has taught at Student Day Of Poetry and volunteered at Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.