“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

-Warsan Shire


When you hack your breath into a hot air balloon

Make sure that the canvas is dyed dark for the nighttime

Splash it solid and forget the careful batiks from your living room floor


When you row through the transatlantic gusts that are salty-sharp and new

Pretend that it is a breeze on the Queiq, hushing you with its smell of mother’s hands

Like dough and dried flowers, like the hope of rain


When a fresh darkness is kicked up and claws its way through a seamless escape

Thrust your orr through the westward air,

gather into your arms the artillery of a quiet night

and push yourself into the zephyr, into the splinters

ahead, the promise of nothing.

LAURA FAIRGRIEVE received her MFA from Adelphi University, where she currently teaches. She is a 2016 recipient of the Poets & Writers Amy Award. Her work has appeared in Underwater New York, Inscape Magazine, Ink in Thirds, The Bitchin' Kitsch, East Coast Ink, and Words Dance Publishing. She lives in Brooklyn. Contact her at laurafairgrieve.com.