Against a wish I snuck
out into the storm and stood
frigid minutes on a path
from shoppers to a calm
surprised by only me.

Descending snow screened off
sound and built its world
from night light and motion.
The latish hour seemed safe
though ghostly; the ravine
laid out in white and brown
showed where summer masks
the body of the land.

I waited for the right
touch (stop me if you’ve heard
this one) like a single
flake clasping to my eyelash.
I didn’t think it came.

But here in early summer
as I watch dusk descend
that green disguise, I
catch the scent of what
drenched me, underhandedly,
in the snow. Which was, I think,
that I was trying. Trying
to gather from the patient world
punchlines from a blizzard
of stories. All I’ve come away with
is the drifted blossoms
only now beneath the cherry,
zinging me, zinging me.

Sean Bentley‘s work has appeared widely if not frequently in magazines and anthologies. His collections are Grace & Desolation(Cune 1996), Instances (Confluence, 1986) and Into the Bright Oasis (Jawbone, 1976). He’s been a technical editor and writer since 1988. He coedited Fine Madness magazine from 1986-2008. An erstwhile photographer, his blog can be found at

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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