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Chloe Tsolakoglou


the roses are named

neon cowboy, dancing flame

and I say

Did you know bees sleep in the crux?

tj is so beautiful now,

measuring their aloneness across

the thicket—

we are pining for the return

of a thing that looks like home:

their green eye births thorns,

my outstretched arms like stamens—

our garden is waning and sometimes

i discern a closeness.


now, november


on the kitchen table is my grief,

a kind of limp animal

stillness tempts my hands

but I have yet to

draw a simple conclusion—

there, the beaming sternum

almost transparent

i enter its supple and

suddenly feel very embarrassed;

the oblique realization

of living, having lived

How does one make absence


when I crush the red seed

language stops—

magnolias shed too much

of themselves in the fall.


absence follows grief

and blackberry bushes

mangle the skin, purple

undulating and becoming

a delta at the river

of my wrist

i eat madly, hastily—

stuff the berries in

my shallow pockets

things seem to have purpose

when consumed;

the echo of summer

is cloaked in loss.


Chloe Tsolakoglou is a Greek-American writer who grew up in Athens, Greece. She obtained her MFA from the Jack Kerouac School, where she served as the Anselm Hollo Fellow.

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