Correspondence from the Bottom of the Well

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” –George Orwell

The free market hollered
one night in June
when bugs jangled
and glowed like coins
and the stars answered
with a thousand conspiracies.
I’m the pirate, the free market said,
and you are the gold.

I sobbed with the bullfrogs.

We’d written letters
to the moon,
the silver-rivered clouds.
Telegraphed arteries.
Howled to cells and atoms.
Dark matter. Dark
waiting.

Cars sped by the hollow
and filled it with smoke.

Through a slivered clearing,
the stars whispered, Rise.


Linda Cooper lives in Seattle, Wash., where she teaches middle school Language Arts. She completed her MFA at Eastern Washington University, and her poems have been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, West Branch, Many Mountains Moving, Willow Springs, Third Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Hubbub, Elixir, Diner, Midwest Quarterly Review, Weber Studies, Redactions, The Far Field, Verse Daily, Railtown Almanac, and Rock and Sling. She also won the 2015 Orlando Prize for Poetry.

Jayne Marek‘s photos have appeared in publications such as Camas, Sliver of Stone, Gyroscope, Central American Literary Review, Peacock Journal, New Mexico Review, Blast Furnace, and Gravel, among others.

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