Isabelle Shepherd


When I am raw like this,
even pine needles cut.

Divorce, a frozen country
road, a party we promised

to attend. What is the geometry
of this? And what the hell were you

thinking? It all comes down
to quest narrative versus

romantic plot, and I have no
desire to keep my house

cold for hot-blooded men. I’m
yours and I’m not yours. Naive

in wolf’s clothing. There are bigger
problems, I know, but first

make the room stop spinning.
Here’s what I’ve been

trying to say: We couldn’t
stop ourselves from watching

the leaf spiral all the way down.
We couldn’t stop the high

school kids from wrecking
their car after homecoming,

but we watched on the stoop.
What did I have to offer? You

once held a ridge of blue mountains
in your hands. What did I have?

A child cries in her stroller, I want
to go home. And no one looks.

Isabelle Shepherd is a poet from West Virginia. She now lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Ninth Letter, Powder Keg, Redivider, Sixth Finch, and elsewhere. More of her work and upcoming reading dates can be found on
  • Lost Creation
    César Dávila Andrade, Translated by Jonathan Simkins
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    Tomaž Šalamun, Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry