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How the Wind Erased Your Name
by Lucas Pingel


A stone, a whisper. Where we had buckled the diary lay a broken sledgehammer. How many ways to seduce an alley cat, such hard weather. Here is a home for us, tucked between the bluffs once occupied by pioneers of a new religion that never caught on. We breasted these histories amongst our tattooed wrists, delicately swaddled, enflamed. Here is a path where we can be reached, paved with saltpeter and eggshells.


We carved a slit in the plaster 
to see how much we would grow 

after you told me my lullabies frighten you, 
but it was so difficult 

to sing the ellipses with you looking at me 
that way. I just wanted 

to do something special for you, 
the way that you shaded 

the silhouette of me in earth tones so 

that all I could think about 
was how 

I would someday like 
to be cremated and dipped in your paint. 

Oh you, 
filled with so much delicious gray.


We looked at our fence to find the moon impaled upon it. Before we called the network executives to pitch this as a reality show, we played a game of solitaire. The first one to triumph over the self triumphed over the other. By morning, the moon was only implied, and instead it was the entire clear blue sky with a stake through its belly. Neither of us had yet won.


I practice forging my pet name 

for you 

on a sheet of granite, 

mainly because of my 

uncontrollable urge 

to be ankle deep in dust. 

Every time I say it 

out loud, 

it sounds as though the world 

is trying to gargle 

all of its particles. 

If you were here, 

I would show you 

how the ashes sway to the earth 

in the same way 

we used to dance. 

I pull out my foot. 

An open mouth 


a gust of wind 

closes it shut.


Above the sky there is an open mouth and it is mine and it sings to the sky. 

This is the best way I have of mourning the we that still grows in my belly. 

I am pregnant with toxins. I am pregnant with both of us. 

When intoxicated with the song of the sky, the blood of the moon, I can taste blood in 
my mouth that tastes like bloody songs. 

I spit at the lights in the sky. Above the blood in the sky there is a better film. 

Light beams are a struggle. 

If I could pour them in a bucket and fill my bathtub with light, stuff our pores with light 
that could be used in the film of the we on the ground in the field in the alley in the sky, you know I would. 

There’s a strand of your hair in me. 

There’s a song of my blood in you. 

This is the best part of the film. 

Lucas Pingel currently resides in the Twin Cities with his wife, Autumn.  He teaches at Saint Catherine University.  Pingel has published two chapbooks, most recently All Types of Breath Included (Further Adventures, 2009).

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