At night when the office workers turn home, the city fills with empty stairwells lit up from inside. Not a soul stirs — no mailman, no fugitive animal, not a person alive.
The layout of lighting keeps the illumination even. No draft moves the plants, the purposeless furniture.
One wonders who’s behind this display, a waste of tile and electricity and even of watching, each floor the stage of an abandoned play. The stairwells extrapolate their nothingness upwards: floors one to 22 or 53, unchanging and sore with unabsorbed light.
Stairwell railings loom, uninterrupted, like the shadows of sundials in a landscape where there is no sun.
Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany, where she works in news. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DMQ, Bateau and Fraglit, and her chapbook Homebodies has just come out from by Hyacinth Girl Press.
In the afternoon, the hour of five falls like quintuplets from the clock.
To live in the moment is a frightful thing. In all the past I never lived in the moment. I was saving those moments for now.
The future is no better place. The future is coming with the sole purpose that I might regret it.
I once loved someone who said things like, “when we’re older and you write my biography…” What a presumptuous jerk he was. But the pathetic thing was how I adored him, and how he still crosses my mind every day, at least the person he was, not the failed man.
(at dusk, while the stars sort out their sleep patterns)
Nothing nourishes suffering like nostalgia.
I don’t pretend to know anything, including the French word for hell. I don’t even know if the English word for hell is quite correct.
After feasting, mint restores coherence.
Although anyone who looks can see it, and even explain it, the daytime moon always seems to be something secret and subversive.
It is good to put an hour aside for thinking. Slow down. Behold your horses.
Weltschmerz. I wash mine down with coffee.
Sarah J. Sloat’s new chapbook Homebodies has just been published by Hyacinth Girl Press. Sarah lives in Germany, where she works in news. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DMQ, Bateau and Fraglit, among many other places.
When I was four or five I was standing in our gravel driveway on Marlborough Avenue. The sun was shining like a good example and at the same time it began to rain, but only on the half of the driveway where I stood. In answer to my perplexity, my mother said this was a called a sunshower. And I said, Ok, now I’ve seen everything.
Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany, where she works in news. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DMQ, Bateau and Fraglit, and her chapbook Homebodies will be published by Hyacinth Girl Press this summer.
I hate to lose you,
you, who knew
Sarah J. Sloat grew up in New Jersey, and has lived in Germany for many years, where she works for a news agency. Sarah’s poems have appeared in RHINO, Court Green, Bateau and Opium, among other publications. Her chapbook, In the Voice of a Minor Saint, was published in 2009 by Tilt Press. She blogs at The Rain in My Purse.
On tv we saw a woman living
with her kids in a tin slum.
She showed the camera man
an open stove, a hairbrush
on a box that was her bedside table.
Along one wall, dirty water trickled
around bullet holes, ticking,
limned by the reporter’s voice-over.
How we like to focus on what’s close up.
We don’t even know where the bullets go—
through cities and forests, clean
into the open air.
The vase is thrown
with greyish clay, sculpted
to stack like bracelets
laid to cinch near the middle.
Livestock graze the grass.
Clover sprouts unbothered.
From the hilltop, the bracelets form
the elongated neck of a Ndebele—
in the pasture’s lap,
facing who knows