Austin Veldman

                                          Sometimes I feel that way
about this lost innocence. We were whole once—jagged
mountains capped with snow—touching something
beyond mere flatland. It’s all
scarred earth.

~ from “Cold Water, Jagged Mountains” | Great Lakes Review (forthcoming print)

He stopped
        at the remnants of a Studebaker, the chassis burned a fragile red-brown
that crumbled at the touch
of my one finger, like the sufferer finally allowed to die.
A release.

~ from “The Grotto” | Parhelion

               Just yesterday I saw that no birds
had visited my new feeder. The wind came down
the chimney, spread ashes all over the carpet.
I don’t believe in omens, but I was born in July
and my sign is Cancer.

~ from “The Habit of Keeping” | Atlanta Review (print)