Read the introduction, "This Mid-Air in Which We Tremble: Women & the Avant-Garde" by Chet'la Sebree.



In Outline


In inlet of lake, we paddle slow boards over
a fallen tree; to sink but only so; to bend
what we think should not bend; to feel


in one direction with end, in one direction


without end; & say sky; only mean universe;
think heaven heaven; & words combined
with thought conjure an odd type of
magic & our frontal lobe synapses


always half in & out of something. Tree
limbs in soak, until, think piece by piece by
what do we really know of disintegration?
The dust on your sill is mainly you; mourn
not what you leave behind; an outline


under a vague transparency for witness.


& all the names given


Your jaws unhinge; tongue of snails; how you lug along, made-up of molecules & drag, eyes licking the sparrow across the sky—the full full sky & your mouth a bog gathering quiet; & how nothing’s name sounds; how the lack-of; how no chatter chatter; chatter in the Vs leave branches thin & bereft; how thin & bereft any line against horizon: our highway, our wing-bone spread, our vocal reeds in curtain of trachea; to witness a thing & be unable, voice lost in the diagram of a throat; you of sections; how the stone in your chest heavies in structure; how you dream of feathers, of less, of breast of the swallow in jut—where flight tunnels & you absorb atmosphere; how wind gusts in vertebrae, in gait, in pause before utter; how elements undo you; somewhere, a nest teeters on the breeze.


Not not


Bumblebee against asphalt; we all carry
contrast in our gait; to open a door & find
not a room at all, instead a grove of orange
trees & how


in our mouths nothing rhymes with orange


& outside our mouths nothing rhymes
either; & so goes obsessions with contours;
say design; think Frost’s white moth; say me
me; think if only


this heart drew collages, stills of; to be child &
not; to let landscape witness you; to find
a lighthouse not yours; to make it so; to
unravel with desire; any skeletal part of; &
to notice bees in odd places, not


not a simple bee; to invert wonder; partake.


The Title of this page hides you


Here the page devours the page; the words of the words absorb in ink; you fidget your feet, swing them in small, irritant circles under the table; blank exists, then this page; how you hurl words at a screen & disappearance & flicker; the constant stab of keystrokes; how silence mocks & an inner hum hums; & here, again, the wide-wide; how we say landscape, yet we think escape; & neither matters & neither sticks; & the page stretches before you in a jet stream across the mind— prominent & then; to consider what dissipate resembles; what it does not; to pull a rabbit out of anything & claim ah ha; to pull your hands from river & how the wet disobeys capture; how this to that, then; how you start at the page & find yourself at the river, with course & brew & tear & drift & tear & tear.



Felicia Zamora is the winner of the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse, and author fo the chapbooks Imbibe {et alia}here (Dancing Girl Press, 2016) and Moby-Dick Made Me Do it (2010). Her poems appear widely in journals.

Fall 2016


Cover of West Branch 82, Fall 2016

Issue 82, Fall 2016

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Cover art: Soft Chine (detail), by Jeffery Becton. 2015, digital montage photography, 42” x 63”.


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