Done By Halves

How has your heart not split in half?
Lip service ceased being enough long
ago, but here’s one more given yet another pass.

Questions yawn between us like a pass,
the room made chill, divided into your half
and mine. The desolate gap is too long.

This is it, right? It won’t be long,
it can’t, until we can walk tall again, pass
through, no longer bent, as if against the wind, in half—

We’re long past giving that a pass, so stand tall: this half of sky is still ours.

(a tritina with words pulled from the fiction challenge prompt)

Alex Wigan



Lay out the bowls –
the largest fits cupped in your palm –
smallest to largest,
a bit like planets.
Place a very large bowl
at the end.
Pour in the flour, scooping and leveling
so as
not to
compress it.
Fill the others with
baking soda, cocoa,
sugar, baking powder.
Let the gravity of the largest
draw them, one by one,
glucose and alkalinity
and calcium and magnesium
and carbon dioxide
all activating
like primordial life when you
Add salt: a sprinkle
of minuscule asteroids
cratering the powder.
A second bowl, not as large.
Combine eggs, oil, and milk.
In the first bowl, make a well
and then there is water,
and it is good.
Pour into pans and
Breathe in the fragrance.
Creation takes time.
Allow it to cool.

(inspired by these ancient poem-recipes)

Hope: A Practicum

I know we’ve seen worse and I know
practice makes perfect
but I’m all for not repeating past mistakes
just because we know that dance
we have those steps memorized
and the barren road away from rote is paved with
what you intended

It feels false to write about hope in times like these
but if there isn’t hope, there’s nothing, and we can’t
have nothing.
we won’t.

I know women whose blood rushes steel
from heart to brain and back, whose mouths sing love defiant, who wear
their signs through the streets or who protest
every day
along those same streets
simply by

I have friends full of fire
Sure some burn lower than others
but we each flare bright, in our way,
and I dare you
to put us under a basket

we’ll sear right through

and they might say
they couldn’t see us
or maybe they didn’t intend
our upset


we can break old habits
pave new roads
because we know love, not fear, by rote
and I expect they’ll know us


photo courtesy Gratisography

Small Mercies

I envy – and I recognize my
irony – those who can pray
praises to fill a censer,
certain of their hope.
Open and raw,
Abba, Father, I cry only
leniency, relief, mercy.
See me? Small though I am?

Oh, I am worn out,
outdone, overrun,
run down. I need filling up.
Upon this rock, I listen:
Envy grows no good fruit –
root down my soul, water me.
Even here, tenderly, meekly,
leaves unfurl, silver and new.

Under Glass

They styled my hair, painted makeup,
arrayed me in a crystal box.
I pretended to sleep, but
I was listening – yes,
I heard you. With that
mouth, you’d kiss me?
I can break

(an attempt at a nonet, kind of, maybe. JUST KIDDING APPARENTLY IT IS FINE)