Fall 2021

You Sink You Glow

By Will Russo

            There does not exist a real intimacy that is repellent.
            —Gaston Bachelard

What I do know: I want to write a home
around us, to breathe with sinewy young
lungs unburdened by crust and tar, to do
the unspeakable things that make parents
grandparents. Alone, I lie
           faceup, eyes closed,
    in voluntary dark, my brain heeding the still,
    the steady. Exhale. I can’t decide what it is
    I want, knowing less of you makes luxury—
    the way one minute each day, the sun goes
                      earlier, toward winter. Sleep
            selfish; a weight (familiar at the fold of my neck)
            fulcrums. Pressed and lifted. Substrate in brief ink.
            I told my mother
                   I love men; she was the one mother to cry
                 with joy. Do you see? I want always to show you
                 something. How much I spring forward, you fall
                 back. The sun is consistent, the planet’s the problem.
                 What have I gained besides an hour . . . .

You Sink You Glow

I’m all dreamsoak and countermuscle. My holding body
holds. Is storage.
                                 Little by little square,
tall by tall wall—each aframe with windows.

                           How can I
trust what’s hollow? The sun come-hithers coy glass.

Once again I decide to pity you.
                     My stuffy apartment,
we’d float    thin kitchen to a fan’s blown coil;

I’d lodge forearms
from your shoulders to skull and stretch you neckwise.

              Box on box labeled Dishes, Bigger
Dishes; the wide panes    mocking our forms into one,

a borrowed shade behind us, my nose
to your cauliflower ear.
                           You were my clumsy world,
small rock I threw

                     which broke and the hardness grew
thatmuchfold.
Those small shames motionless.

A child, I heard my brother crying; I made sure
                                               to hide
my joys.
         Clouds now.
                            Then the rain turns soft hail.

I’m no longer night’s
beckoning road.                         I’m glad I’m not.
                             I can’t handle another start.


Will Russo is a Chicago-based poet and received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. His work has appeared in Salamander, Berkeley Poetry Review, Faultline, and elsewhere. He received a 2019 Pushcart Prize nomination and serves as Poetry Editor for Great Lakes Review.

Fall 2021