By Luiza Flynn-Goodlett

Featured Art: Dark Clouds by Louis Eilshemius

The caul we’re born beneath, its gaze drives
mystics to fits. Constant as parents never are,
it blinks back cumulus to examine us, offers
no opinion. Unlike old gods, nothing troubles
it—rains withheld, not censure, just drought.
Some tire of scrutiny, shelter in offices, under
newspapers. It doesn’t mind, proffers an open
eye to all—the seabirds that caw at its margins,
delayed ships, the drowned who clawed toward it.

Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of the forthcoming collection Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with six chapbooks, most recently Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize, and Tender Age, winner of the 2019 Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief of Foglifter in sunny Oakland, California.

Originally published in Issue 19.

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