In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • What’s Wrong
  • Claire Skinner (bio)

What’s Wrong

A cyst on the tip of an ovary. A cramp

in the base of the skull. Lightning stitching into

the metal lid of a hand-dug well. Floods, of course,

and blizzards, too. Lost on Lake Superior

in a leaky canoe without a paddle.

Or an orange peel

and an apple’s core shoved down your throat. An egg

in Cool Hand Luke’s belly. A snake b-lining

burnt and crackling grass. A crack in the concrete, [End Page 156]

crack in the glass, crack in the shield of a brave and virtuous warrior.

Or the tear on his cheek. (He shouldn’t be crying.)

Or my friend’s boyfriend kicked into rehab for a habit

he said he’d been quitting, but didn’t, or couldn’t, or

Who Cares. He’s gone.

An electric guitar, mother’s ring, and Circuit City stereo

pawned. Or the rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green.

The easy way to categorize terror. Or the screening agent that morning in Boston

in September who scanned the x-ray image and made (watch her) an error. [End Page 157]

Claire Skinner

Claire Skinner recently graduated from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. She is currently a Zell Fellow in poetry at the University of Michigan. A few poems of hers are forthcoming in NewBorder and Crab Creek Review.



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pp. 156-157
Launched on MUSE
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