Temporal Lapse, Chestnut Street

I move clay pots and watering cans,

plant chamomile under cloudy first light,

emerald clover velvety against shins.

There’s a song in my head with no place to go;

I hum notes in the rising veil,

I tap rhythms; limestone melodies.

I sing spells scattering mint leaves.

I forget the day, forget time.

I lift my eyes and open my palms

to the new morning rain.


In my dream you look like yesterday

but this is not the past.

You tell me after you died you could still see me,

but I couldn’t see you.

You say you heard the static, too.

Now is a dream and in it someone else is gone.

She’s dead and you ask me if I think she can see us.

Before I can answer the air ripples

and cracks, bone snapping

white-ice-pop of flesh grazing metal.

Her presence ruffles the pivot;

A cat’s paw on water;

A dissolving red cedar wood scent.

In the momentary lack of counterweight

we exist spherical as the nothing

containing everything.

Morning inhales today and my eyes open.

A chain of pastel paper hearts flutters to the ground.


vagabond universe

shoulders & soul


greens, browns, whites & grays


stones of a riverbed erode. create. 


reflex-tradition &

spontaneous vow

breathe union. breathe discord. breathe

tangled bloom


crustacean pressed

& tilled ground

suspended in pin-drop

creation bangs

open the deeps

& the blues


E. Samples is an Appalachian contrarian living in Southern Indiana. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Abridged, The Stillwater Review, Black Bough Poetry, Lucent Dreaming, Crêpe & Penn, Variant Lit, Still: The Journal, and elsewhere. She is on twitter @emilysamples

* The title is from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.