About the Feature

feature image from Dougtone.

[hear the author read this piece by clicking this link.]

It was a church then it was a barn with church windows
then it was a photograph of a church-turned-barn.

It was a photograph of the church-turned barn
no longer standing and the standing
of the boy who just woke beside the photo.

It was a day then it was a church.
A boy wakes and feeds his golden fish.

It was a barn then it was a boy imagining barns.

I was standing in the barn which was a church
which was myself within a golden fish.

I woke then fed the boy.

It was a photograph of ghost towns then it was the ghost of the
fish in the sand of waking.

We played “ghost fish” by empty ponds.

It was a church then it was the ghost of the heat of the church.

A barn is warmer than I am.
The fish are the temperature of a church.

It was a boy with boy windows then it was a year with church-windows.

The whole building fell and had to swim its beams like ghosts.
It was a church then it was the fear of not having a church,
so it was the building of the church, the feeding of the fish.

No it was a barn.

About the Author

Endi Bogue Hartigan’s book One Sun Storm (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008) was selected for the Colorado Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her recent work has appeared in Verse, Volt, Chicago Review, Pleiades, Yew, and other journals. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son.