(not quite) a literary journal


Second Chance, by Mia Gjerde



A fool in front of you.

A spineless creature begging back stature.

Romantic notions of noticing.

We can see you from the back.


I guess I realize that maybe he feels like I'm a too big bowl of ice cream on a warm day.

I'll melt too quickly and my lukewarm liquid will spill over the table and he'll never clean it up and the table will always be sticky.

He will tell people "oh that's just the sticky table" but it's just me attracting ants

and making it so his precious books stick to the table.

Maybe he sees me like a kid sees a mall Santa and is not quite sure what to think.

But makes sure to act happy for the nostalgia for his mother.

Either way he'll figure out what to do, eventually.


I can’t seem to even predict the tide.

It comes at any hour at any place.

I used to live for the visit.

It has no will

for it is the here and the now.

It is all consuming and over consuming and starving for attention.

It jolts through my body and breaks my bones.

Having no control

it seeps out of my skin.

Sometimes they want it too much

so they collect it in red buckets.

Sugar at the surface now

let me crystallize in your junk drawer.

“Another Time”

The most important thing we forgot.

The most important lesson we forgot.

One square after the next square

a whole grate is made.

I fear to fall down into the swamp. But I think maybe you would be there so I feel okay.

The lime green night made your skin look so soft.

I know that we made a bigger mess than we can clean up, but maybe we can do it together, maybe we won't hurt them then.

Just to look at you every so often is enough.

Don't even think about opening your mouth, for your eyes and feet tell me enough.

I guess for now the thought of being alone on an island with you will keep me safe, my tears will

pool in pickle jars, and I'll keep them in my coat closet where they can be warm and know I'm

coming for them in winter.

They wanna take from us, we are so strong now.

Driving through the mountains holding your hand.

Not sure we packed enough and each bend looks like the last and I want to ask you so much

but my mouth is taped shut and driving in the snow makes you feel less than me and we must

remain equal.

We both find the mean.

I bet we averaged 80 miles per hour,

it made me feel like we were struggling to conceive our first child.

Yet how did we forget the most important lesson. How did we do that?

I guess next time will be fine.

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