“As Far As I’m Concerned”


by Amanda Gaines




Princess Di looked best in bicycle shorts,
carnations are to prom as shame is to sex, &
everything tastes better with garlic.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no point
in flightless birds or handshakes or tissues:
pain best served obvious.
As far as I’m concerned: myself.
As far as I’m concerned, children should hold off
on the whole art thing until they understand
object permanence. Children, as far as I’m concerned, should scream
while they can. As far as I’m concerned,
if the end of the world were to happen today,
in bottle rocket mountain top explosions,
in oceans draining like bathtubs, in cats and dogs
raining from igloo shaped clouds, in hysterical nuns
and cops and mothers and virgins of the male variety,
I’d be disappointed.
Because as far as I’m concerned, the good stuff just started happening,
which is to say the sun has always been shining,
but I never really appreciated the way it can be
put in its place, the way it kills us, the way it exposes
the sweat along your floppy hairline,
so messy & beautiful
it’s worth thinking twice about.






“But Understand This:”


by Amanda Gaines




The gully, white-foam frothing at the lips of the field,

does not promise anything.

What I know:

There is an orchid that only blooms at night.

I could probably use some help.

Once, I was an angel. White-lace dress,

baby-face bride. Dusk, and soft glow smile.

Shoulder blades like wings. Among the trees,

nightingales cood and leaves adjusted themselves

as if settling into sleep.

There were bears, of course.

But fear is a useless emotion.

I asked the cherubs why my father couldn’t join our little party,

and as they braided my hair, I understood

that saving isn’t the point.  Sometimes, it is

about you. Sometimes, you are an orchid

that only blooms at night and sometimes, you’re the bear.

Sometimes, you get to be an angel.

But enough of that. I tear up secret notes–new snow,

think of pressing on that healing bruise.

It’s not stealing if it’s something you need and

when there’s a mouse, there’s always mice.

Somewhere, lightning bugs dance in the dark,

tête-à-tête. A tiny flower in Thames confounds scientists, and I decide

to forget.






Amanda Gaines


Amanda Gaines is an MFA candidate in CNF in WVU’s creative writing program. She is the nonfiction and co-poetry editor of Into the Void. She is also the new Editor-in-Chief for Cheat River Review. Her poetry, nonfiction, and fiction are published or awaiting publication in The Oyez Review, Straylight, Gravel, Typehouse, The Meadow, Up the Staircase, Crab Fat, Rogue Agent, and Into the Void.


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