PoetryIssue 12 | June 2011

Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat


I misplace my passport
and almost to the Danish border

I rush to turn my vitals into a story
relevant for crossings.

I come from a state of astonishment.
My blood has always been a foreign city on the ocean.
The bays were broken long before

I laid eyes on them – none of that my doing.

I was a child of pleasure not my own,
born on Saturday, spelling work,
as learning is a kind of work,
switching tacks is an employment,
and love the hardest labor.

My limp is the result of a childhood crush
and the crick in my neck comes from caring
too much

for stars and airplanes, for looking up
to find my ancestors all north,
elongated shadows thrown astern.

On my mother’s side their chins sat stiff;
on my father’s side, they trembled.
I travel light into experience, a few seeds
and country dust I can’t pass off
on anyone

I hope will earn me entry.

Occasionally I have followed the errant
lines on my hand, dragging my freight
at this height, this weight,

leaving me with an unfinished feeling
because every place I ever loved,

I still love,
tucked away as cloth is tucked, a parachute
strapped to my back when all the doors
I’ve slammed blow open.

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About the author

Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok