About the Feature

Photo by Suzie Tremmel

When the hypnotism lifted,
I was unusually alone. Hungry.
Kneeling. Taciturn. Strange

smelling. Your plank boat on the bank
was replaced with dark leaves
in the shape of a boat. Heavy fog,

hickory. There was always some
consternation among the birds.
There was always a letter, blood-

streaked, in a bottle.
But this time, it seems, it is very
real. I’ve called for the monitors,

but hear only hissing. A new
word is written all over the trees.
I’ve considered the thicket,

but only the dogs will go in it,
and they always come out
acting strange. Even Manteo. Very

slow. Leaning, as though
to tell a secret. But nothing. He seems to
know nothing at all. And nothing

erases the way your face blanked
when they came up speaking
with flags. Nothing fogs

how you smiled and nodded as they
slowly coddled you down. When
the hypnotism lifted, I lay prostrate

among catamounts, charcoal
and fluttering shapes
on the stage of a new century. Kudzu

luggage filled the lark’s fort. Half of
us wandered the courtyard,

About the Author

Lauren Haldeman is the author of the poetry collection Calenday and a chapbook, The Eccentricity Is Zero. Her collection Instead of Dying won the 2017 Colorado Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming in November from the Center for Literary Publishing. A comic book artist and poet, she was a recipient of the 2015 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award. She currently teaches at the University of Iowa. http://laurenhaldeman.com