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Editor's Note



Three Poems

by Amanda Hempel

Cigarettes at Night

You tossed cigarettes out the car window
each lit off another’s end like holy inextinguishable fire.
Orange explosions against so much black.

I smelled smoke and knew briefly how you taste—
like the universe beginning.

The Now of Jellyfish

Thousands of jellyfish glisten all down the beach
like cut glass, bitten in half and quarters and shards
by mouths that wait just under the gray-green pane.
My foot pauses in what Taoists call Now, the only thing that exists,
no future step or past ones, just this hovering
waiting for a bravery as theoretical as those mouths
that do not exist on this side of the ocean.


A flash of gray-blue and a streak of auburn throat
among so much ordinary, and then everything was wake:
the swaying branch, my hummingbird pulse.
I was frantic for possibilities.
Another flash of blue and I was sure.
But then the sunflower bobbed at my mistake.
Bluebirds don’t eat seed.
And then I finally saw him, upside-down
hanging happy and oblivious from the face of the flower
scattering husks into the garden, empty as hope.


Amanda Hempel, born in Stockholm, Sweden, grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where she currently lives. Her poetry has appeared in The Literary Review, Fogged Clarity, Regarding Arts & Letters, The Briar Cliff Review, Zouch Magazine and Miscellany, Red River Review, as well as other magazines. She received her MFA Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she served as Poetry Editor for Flywheel Magazine.

Copyright 2012 Amanda Hempel. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.