Sarah Lilius – Poem

When Larry Couldn’t Climb the Tree

His breath, car exhaust and grey onion,
a solid gait, he’s part pickup truck,
slow on the interstate.
In his world, tented, everything hides
like guns far too large for any hand.

He buries ancestors under a rug.
Hearts no longer beat, the bones
never leave, he checks
them everyday
except Mondays.

His need for women dwindles,
they are noise and flower,
ache and soft places to cut.
He explains to no one,
heaviness is a father

guiding him, it’s singular,
smells like blood,
iron and chance.
He gets back in time,
the apple starting to rot.


Sarah Lilius is the author of the chapbooks What Becomes Within (ELJ Editions, 2014) and The Heart Factory (Black Cat Moon Press, 2016). She has a chapbook forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Some of her journal publications include the Denver Quarterly, Tinderbox, Hermeneutic Chaos, Stirring, Luna Luna Magazine, Entropy, and Flapperhouse. In 2016, she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Black Cat Moon Press. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two sons. Her website is

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