Golden Shovel: Famous Prophets

After Will Toledo


I want to offer my apologies

to the here the there to

the pasts presents and future

I’ve shunned the me’s

out of their selves and

filled that space with infinite you’s


mostly imagined, but

I can’t imagine they’re fake, I

couldn’t do that, I can’t

stop to help

my old self pack her bags, she’s feeling


empty, dejected, empty, empty, empty like

wanting to be human, like we’re

exiting through

mountained pages, the

notebooks I left discarded, ripping

pages and pages of

odes to self, the

boxes I covered with oceans of tape

exclude every word that hurts

I need space left for my

toes, my neck, my ears

my middle knuckles, in

moving boxes that stay stacked in my

new home, left for years,


gathering dust and I’ve

never tried to open them, but never

moved them into closets, they need to be seen

or they’ll die or burn but if anyone, anyone

observes their walls they won’t quit


this earth, they’ll remain quite

content to rest like

stones, something the version of you

I invented could never do



Biographical Note: Birch Saperstein (they/she) is a poet, knitter, and freshman at Kalamazoo College. They write about the fact that squirrels dig holes they don’t put nuts in so other animals don’t take them and the fact that self-seeding plants are called bisexual and other things they learned when they probably should’ve been sleeping. Her work has previously been published in Angel Rust.