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JC Alfier

JC Alfier’s (they/them) most recent book of poetry, The Shadow Field, was published by Louisiana Literature Press (2020). Journal credits include Faultline, New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Penn Review, Raleigh Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Vassar Review. They are also an artist doing collage and double-exposure work.

A Notebook Lost Near Tuscarora

Out where they scuttled the tracks
of the Erie Railroad
at Keshequa Creek crossing,
you’ll find the county mapped
with roads named for backsliders
and saints, for one archangel,
and a lone Redemption Street —
its lawns littered with toys,
locks changed or missing,
and a woman of indeterminate age
who will always tell you
with the toss of a glance,
Meet me elsewhere, her eyes ocean-blue,
even in the dark.

Near Hunts Point

Tangent to constellations
now surfacing in the dusk
there’s a square of mottled light
from a gateshack
along the Bronx River,
a candle lit by a widow,
and the runaway girl,
missing all these summers,
searching with a lighter
for an unlocked door down a road
that leads away from the city.

Oswego River Silence

Summer goes abandoned.
The October-strewn ditchbank
runnels beside my path,
sparing my footfalls any echoes.
Nothing glows but late asters and goldenrods.

The only words I’d speak
would be unwise counsel to no one,
certainly not the cardinal or hawk
who refuse all autumnal vectors south.

I am borne along in a light rain
that emerges like a rumor
wrapped in a whisper.

Like the woman’s voice
I let fade this morning
asking me to leave,
the widening light
splintering her doorway.