top of page

Maggie Rue Hess

A Sonnet, Because I Didn’t Want to Say, “I Already Knew”

I stood in an evening-scrubbed field. Fireflies blinked

through the eyes of every summer I didn’t

share with someone I missed. There was a fence,

two dark lines and the suggestion of breaching.

When I felt the suggestion of closeness. I birthed

a question. She answered, her mouth a line of darkness.

I let her untruth me across the distance.

Her voice was every summer we didn’t share,

which was every summer. In between the seasons

lies the same field. What is truth. A blink in the evening

rather than a wall of light. I forgive the distance necessary

to breach the unvoiced. When we saw the fence was

no wall, only darkness breaching, she said, “I lied to you,”

and I told her, “It’s still a season for fireflies”


what heat

teeth disguised as pearls to necklace his throat, a tender

nest of promises humming response to me / to me

the verse & vice, written in summer sweat & ripened over distance,

yes, horizon – the furthest thing from her is the brightest desire –

she would thread her name with silk but I would stain /

I would char, smoke-sweet linger – less campfire,

more arson: what heat / what heat gains its fingertips from words

the way he does, palming my lines / lines are made to be bolded &

envelopes made to be licked – yes, I know that tongue and it me / me / me / men

are so easy to read, but they like how it feels &

he is no exception


Maggie Rue Hess (she/her) is a graduate student and former high school English teacher living in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her partner and their two pups. Her work has appeared in Rattle, Minnesota Review, Connecticut River Review, Backchannels Journal, and other publications. She is currently (re)learning how to roller skate.

Recent Posts

See All

Miles Cayman

Ø I think your name is less like itself is more like your middle name and most like the way you've held your pencil ever since you practiced cursive, and the ridge of callus precisely on your finger t

Javeria Hasnain

I ONLY CAME TO SEE GOD on the altar. When all the guests had left, & the smell of tuna had wafted far off into the ocean from where it came. No one truly knows. I waited for you, even though I knew yo

Clay Matthews

The First Law of Robotics What kind of malfunction brought you, little daffodil, with the afterbirth of an early February frost; what maker of clocks, what loosed screw; what turned and left the heart


bottom of page