Being pressed,
I’ll only give an outline,
smooth a silhouette in the dust to say
This is what happened
where love came to forget
what it can’t remember and
baby, I picked you like a fight.

It could just be me
and my gluey collage of unfinished
but either way, I’m still
that postcard in a bottom drawer,
the relic paper in an old wallet
that only looks like coincidence.

I was born with a knack
for finding lost things in the shallows,
a woman who comes into this world each time
with a grenade pin tight between the teeth.

This is not about afraid
of collecting old photographs but
of things a hot shower can’t fix.
Even the knife kept close beneath the pillow
falls unreachable in the hot fit of sleep.

I burn the candles down to the idea,
racing the quick inhale of afternoon.
Every telling is unfaithful
if lit against the impossible
hexagram of loving what can’t.

What matters most is love
and hydrogen, not that
drunk, aseptic sneer
of Cornered Again.

This was almost easier
when I didn’t know you yet,
back when I just another wild-­card kid
with two nearly-­broken arms
in a world of no accidents.


Photography © Allison Goldin

Photography © Allison Goldin


Jess Cording’s work has appeared under several names in various print and online journals. She lives and works in New York City.

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.