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Our common fear of water
enters this day, our thoughts
unable to approach the shore.
We are dulled, land-bound
emigrants groping for clothes
while we shrivel within
our own will. Assuming
particular dread, sand gnat clouds
ascend. One bite impels us
to imagine the masses
forever rotting. Even the sea
fears the whispered wingbeat known,
what our dimmed lamps demand
until blindness comes,
a sandbar guarding the coast.


Claudia M. Stanek’s work has been turned into a libretto, been part of an art exhibition, and been translated into Polish. Her chapbook, Language You Refuse to Learn, was published by Bright Hill Press (2014). Other poems have been published in Redactions, Euphony, Ruminate, Fourth River, and Conte Online, among others.

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