Spring 2024

Arils on Velvet 

By Rae Gouirand

I am thrust through myself in this dark we take up, 
deep-eyed as the red bulb

exploded on its branch. I too am opened.
I too watch it quartered 

that gemmed torture of seed. Watch it sieve—
watch the hand separate

hull from garnet. Pray the cuts of these pupils 
might find what is sharp—

there are those who will continue to call one 
by name. See these pips. To claim 

a clear space one need only split. Sometimes it kills 
to marry a definitive thrum, those 

hundreds of nows. More granular than grenade 
or grenadine—you crown 

yourself uncounted. Stand in the place none 
describes untouched. May each 

catch as that candle in scarlet transparency 
against the rub of the couch, 

leaving no margins, no room for belief. Once 
fruit is set it clamors in its chamber

until it bursts. Choose among these those seeds 
you will eat. Most are neat 

and hold a stain as dark as any history, as any
commandment we’d be stunned to read.   

“i am of the unknown” by Christina Rosche (Vol. 45.1)

Rae Gouirand is the author of eight titles of poetry and prose, including Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018), Little Hour (Swan Scythe Press, 2022), and two forthcoming titles, Rough Sequence (Seven Kitchens Press, 2023) and The Velvet Book (Cornerstone Press, 2024). She leads independent workshops in northern California and online, including the cross-genre workshop Scribe Lab, and lectures in the Department of English at UC-Davis.

Website: raegouirand.com

Spring 2024