Taylor Garrison

poem that begins with a trick

if you lie just right, queen anne’s lace floats

in the sky like many tiny moons.

fireflies flicker through the weeds —

a series of crawling constellations.

one day, the big dipper will be gone

& we will be left with the memory.

it is by some sleight of hand

that any of us are alive right now.

for so long, i couldn’t imagine

how our bodies held to the earth

thinking perhaps long ago, humans

carved homes into mountains & left us

the remains. among the summer grass

outlines of ancient buildings emerge,

a lookout tower to the past reminding us

we are not who we used to be

& we should be thankful for that.


elegy without boxelders

they didn’t return, yet summer rolled in all the same.

i have spent so much time looking out this window—

patient for the perfect moment: the return of mother-hawk,

factory smoke dissipated. a cicada brood

hum-humming under the earth, do i become extinct

the moment i am out of sight? or am i simply gone

for now? every morning after Vesuvius a blessing

i have only begun to understand.

i dream of greeting all the small things:

overturned pot now a toad’s home, ripples

on pine trees’ bark, & the zucchini plant we grew

by accident. i will whisper i survived to bees

which only know one winter. mom buys perennials

to plant under my bedroom window.



i dream blue. color that

the bottom of the ocean must be

if i were only brave enough

to open an eye.

swim-capped women

emerge flush-pink

& unsteady like ancestors

gulping down oxygen

for the first time. they do not know:

what is theirs

what is finite

does there have to be a difference? 

overcome with desire

to pack wet sand, i mold girl

into menace.

the heft of rope and eyes.

if i want to float…

is it a sin to be so hopeful?

on the news, a woman jumps

onto subway tracks

to save someone

she does not know as if

the choice was easy.


Taylor Garrison is a senior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. She’s pursuing a degree in history. Taylor is a recent survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Her work has previously appeared in Catfish Creek.