White Whale Review: An Online Literary Magazine Untitled Document
Sarah Stickney
Sarah Stickney earned her MFA in poetry from the University of New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Scarab, Praxilla, Blast Furnace, Clementine, and La Questione Romantica. She received a Fulbright grant to study and translate poetry from the “Scritturi Migranti” movement in Bologna, Italy, where she currently lives and teaches writing at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS center.
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Sarah Stickney

[Now I go into the city to be strange]


Now I go into the city to be strange

not comforted. Each gray tower stave

precipitates a long shadow. Death's

thumb hovers. But with

milk reincarnated as cheese

in our teeth, whirling

threats from the universe

lack heat. Come caprioling

through space as they may,

they won't even find us

awake. The century rotates

one permanent click right,

and what rises from below

we don't yet get. Or care

to recognize in the green

pulp of our intimate repose.

Coffee's an empty matinee


Sarah Stickney

to nap in. Over the banks

of heated bricks, a shimmer

leaves the distant future

off whose weight bench

I want to lift every bar.

Sarah Stickney

Most of us are eating ice cream


Who has time to stop and lick

gelato has time to wonder

whether he chose the right flavor

which is one way a synapse

complains about death.

“It’s all the same fucking day, man”

groans Janis Joplin on one track

before she launches into that beautiful wall-to-wall carpet

of a trashed bungalow voice. Oh luxury,

throw me away.

Sarah Stickney

A sort of vibrating


In parked cars after midnight

the imprints of drivers

rise from the seats that hold

their smell. Above, uneven

rows of strangers lie asleep

like teeth. If you press your hand

against a trunk, it turns out

you change the tree’s growth forever.

Someone I sidestep to avoid

banging shoulders with on the street

could have held their lips

against the same wineglass as mine:

a kind of kiss, minus the time

that fills what we call windows.




Copyright © Sarah Stickney. White Whale Review, issue 4.2

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