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  • The Shining, and: When I Dream of Drowning Alone, My Lover Is Breathing Beside Me, and: Ode, My Pissing Lover
  • Derek JG Williams (bio)

The Shining

Daddy will bethe death of you,the best of you.

Daddy would neverhurt you, harm you—no no no.

Daddy loves you,hugs you. He saysit, I love you.

When he says it—his breath singesthe air—his beard

stings your cheek.Daddy splitsthe door—

he splinters.He’s the axe.He’s the key.

The snowwon’t cease,it annihilates [End Page 12]

the sky;the grand hotelsighs, wind

rearranges driftshigh upinto its eaves.

Daddy’s atthe centerof the maze,

hair aflame,twistedinto horns.

There’s icein his eyes.He groans

and lurches.His bloodis yours.

He wantsto stay thereforever. [End Page 13]

When I Dream of Drowning Alone, My Lover Is Breathing Beside Me

for Eloisa

We swear an oath to alwayswake. The purple watchwoman

signals from shore. Her scarvesflare above the water. She turns

away, walking up the steep stepscut into the cliffside. You and I

go down, we drown on the night’sship. We float apart in the dark

until morning. An umbilical snakeknots us together even while

we sleep; we scare ourselvesawake at the rippling of the deep.

I wake with your name stuckto my tongue. The only dreams

I remember are the onesthat you’re in. I turn and curl,

careful not to wake you. I wakeand forget how close sleep

is to falling. Each undiscoveredworld’s flat. They tilt and waver [End Page 14]

on the fault of wakefulness.Hold fast to the edges. Find me

when I’m afraid. Hold mewhen fear has taken me far.

Ode, My Pissing Lover

She dances lightly in the dimhallway, pleads for me to hurry.

I fumble away the keys as sheshuffles a lively two-step.

Her bladder, a delicateflower—round as a flounder—

flushed by even the driest carafesof rosé. Her stream seems

angry—a desperate whale rising—breathing a human breath

after an hour submerged singingHer relief swims out, blessed

spout, another blasphemy—functions of the flesh.

This one’s best, & she's so muchbetter than odes written

to racehorses & whales & urnsfilled with ash or urine. [End Page 15]

The musky smell will linger,what could be more familiar.

So I listen & marvel at the sound—water upon clean porcelain.

Derek JG Williams

Derek JG Williams is a graduate of the mfa program at UMass Boston and a 2016 Blacksmith House Emerging Writer. His poems are published or forthcoming in Plume, Best New Poets, Vinyl, Forklift Ohio, Salamander, and New Ohio Review, among others. He currently lives in Arizona.



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pp. 12-16
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