Despy Boutris' poem, "After," is in Short Circuit #05, Short Edition's quarterly review. Despy has been published in Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of Houston and edits The West Review.

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #05

This morning, before sunrise, I walked
along the road, passing

all the boarded-up buildings, the undressed
trees, the puddled street corners dark

as your eyes the first time we spent
in my bed—how, in that blue hour 

before daylight, we awoke to the moon
hanging from the sky, almost full.

That morning, we got caught in the rain,
saw dozens of earthworms scattered

over the sidewalk, searching for dry land.
You side-stepped around one, mused

about your childhood spent fishing
with family at the local lake, the memory 

of your father telling you that—if cut—
worms can replace their lost parts. 

Back then, you used to brush your lips
across my hand and we tangled our legs 

in sleep. Back then, I didn't need
any rebuilding, didn't feel close to drowning 

in this longing, didn't ache
to be severed, to grow back

into something you never touched.

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