Susan Culver lives in Colorado, where she is the editor of Lily.
Her poetry and short fiction have been published in several journals,
including The Pedestal Magazine, flashquake, InkPot, and Heavy Glow.


I, still so much
a child in your hands,
cheeks kissed
as if by winter,
breath labored first
from running away
and later, running to.

You, born to make me
a flame, to reckon
my name with the dust
of stars. There are
no words between us
that do not sizzle,
spark; no songs to which

we have not danced.


I think I can learn to be happy
here again, my sin-filled suitcase
a secret for the closet, the way
every inch of this room
is a fingerprint,
a letter of my name.

I think I can learn to lie
beside you at night, your hand
in my hair, body inching closer
to mine and I can forget
how his city sounds
a thousand miles away,
that he said I could go
anywhere I wanted to be
in just a thought, a dream

and you never knew I was gone.

Once Green

After all, what could be said of the leaves
we crush underfoot but that we remember them

as we remember ourselves: part of something,
two children in the park, burdening each other

with our play, thoughts of winter to come;
that we shall remain as they: perennially young,

growing mornings from whispers, how long
these arms that reach for the sky, elevation

by inches as we turn gold with the wanting
to leap, to dance on air and - in our own time -

to risk a sidewalk kiss in the middle of someday,
regardless of the consequences.

Lily, You Said

As though title alone
could capture a girl, plant her
warm in the palm of your hands,
could make her feel
the sweet stroke of rain,
all the beautiful aches
the world knows well
but cannot explain, the way
summer lasts an instant,
is a series of small deaths,
a diamond in the distance.

And I can feel you now,
moving through the fields,
coming nearer in your measure
of moments, months,
always just out of reach
but I am still reaching,
growing tall with want,
drunk on sky, even now I
can feel you like the liquid slip
of sun on my skin,
my name on your lips. Lily,

Lily, you said.

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