Anne-Sophie Olson


for Lucy and Michael

Wracked with rocking sobs that seemed
to clamber from my gut and wrap,
bodied sounds, around me, I
invoked the names of the dead, crying,
Hold me, hold me. Not a breath
too soon, but not what I’d expect—
not the shimmer of a ghostly
touch— but a white veil
of silence draped about me.
The well of my grief dried up, my mourn-rot
stoppered. No— cleanswept. I slipped
driftward out of myself to slake
myself in cool estrangement, this
brief peace, a sweet forgetfulness.







At eight degrees it is still
sparrow weather. They nest in the eaves
of our house, of our neighbors’
house, of our neighbors’ neighbors’.
Their daybreak cries are raucous, befitting
their species: thieves, philanderers, cheats.
Experts at survival. Did you know
a sparrow will bully a crow from a nesting site?
When the end of times collapses
our world into fire and ice, sparrows
will still be chirping, chirping into daybreak’s
blackness, having made durable
nests out of ash.







I must go out. The water
is crisp and clear
under a pearl-gray sky

and the loon with the ruby eye
crests his ripples, seeking
a suitable mate. I must

go out. I’ll find
a boat at the dock,
untether it.

What say you, wind?
What say you, sky?
I’ve heard that God is the breath

inside the breath. Is He also
the wind in the wind?
The pearl of sky in the sky?

Adrift at the lake’s center, I spy
the sudden silver
of underwater others:

green-gray scales of rainbow trout
cajole the warping waterways,
refract light into light.






Anne-Sophie Olsen hails from St. Paul, MN and is currently pursuing her MFA in Roanoke, VA, where she lives in a barn with a cat named Pip. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Birdcoat Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, Dappled Things, and Veritas Journal.


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