Illustration: Rame Abdulkader.

The smell of halftime
oranges, soccer days
over 30 years gone at
sunrise this morning.
Sliced pink with age,
membranes still thread
sections, the afghan my
grandmother carefully
crocheted for her first
grandchild. Girl. She
sewed a white afghan,
colliding snowflakes.
Roses bloom when
closet doors open.
Memories spill out
of newborn petals
watered by shining
lilies for the ones
who came before.
It is cold in Ostrava,
so cold I am still cold
19 years later, the cold
Chincoteague horses
stamping my marrow
with a wild that is so
wild, wind is hushed
to humbleness.
Blue is through the
July rain, soft and
smooth, a blue
sparrow. Breathe
the dawn. At the
threshold, hearts
sing like crickets
in my ears my
soul as I drop
hot coffee, it is
the way down.

Aerie Carmichael, English graduate student.