Salvage                                                                                         by Anne Graue

My knuckles are bloody
scraped from [harsh] [washing]
every twenty minutes
[for] [twenty] [seconds]. My
[toes] are numb and [stab] [me]
[with] [needles] and I think it’s
[a] [rash] on my skin
that [isn’t] [there]. My
[caged] [vertebrae] pull
and [push me] in and out of rooms
[where] [pain] [sits] [grinning]
with that know-it-all
look we all know when
we see it. It says, I’m going
nowhere, and I ruin all things,
and Watch me. My
head throbs [for] [lack] [of]
[caffeine] or is it stress? More
than likely, since [withdrawal] would’ve
[happened] [weeks] [ago]. My
breathing is regulated
for [sleep]. My
face [is] marred with [age]. My
face sees its own ruddiness
[and] seeks [relief]. My
[eyes] [stare] [into] distance. My
blood pulses with [each] [moon].

Anne Graue’s work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies both online and in print. The author of Full and Plum-Colored Velvet, (Woodley Press, 2020) and Fig Tree in Winter (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), she lives in the lower Hudson Valley of New York with her husband and two daughters.

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Carolina Quarterly, Ninth LetterThe SunRed Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Harbor Review‘s micro-chap prize is named in her honor.


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