Three Poems

Let the murderers feed the baby birds
from the smallest water dropper there is
Let them roam the earth in search of orphans:
stray dogs, injured lambs, calves that were separated
from the herd
Their only job will be to feed them—
these abandoned beasts
who have no names,
who have no mothers,
and whose teeth will break skin in their
Let the murderers soothe with their arms and hands, and
as long as the animals are alive,
so too shall the murderers live
And if the animals shall learn to love,
then the murderers will
be free

For her seventh birthday, my niece received:

A new Barbie,
an American Girl doll—though she was only an imitation,
a dollhouse,
a kit made in China for making beaded charm bracelets,
and a My Little Pony named Trixie Lulumoon whose purple hair shone—
a strange, glowing, plastic silk

When the sticky cake with blue and purple flowers was eaten,
after the gifts were unwrapped,
and the floor was covered in crumpled paper,

I took my niece

Under the honey warm August sun, we sat barefoot on the prickly soft

and blew bubbles

that floated so high, like laughter

away from

our small,

grasping hands

Right Atrium

Love will deplete you,
so that you do not recognize the substance of love,
so that the noise he makes while chewing at breakfast
is more profound than the kind hand on your back when you are sick

Tricuspid Valve

But you pour forth because you prefer the troubled mind of irritation
to the troubled mind of
at night

Right Ventricle

Momentum is a roar—that yes! I’ll keep trying, I’ll keep failing, I’ll keep trying to be kinder, to be more patient, less attached, more attached. To expect less and ask for more.
Did I really say that flowers are cheesy? Bring me flowers! Don’t bring me flowers!

I can’t breathe.

Pulmonary Arteries

There is no crueler loneliness than the loneliness within love’s embrace
It’ll strangle you every time, make you reach for strange cures—let’s go somewhere!
We’ll buy a camper and drive from Old Faithful to the Grand Canyon to Baja, maybe Patagonia will be wild enough and far enough that I can breathe you in anew.


Love is a soft forest
with patterns of sunlight warming thick green moss,
the slowness of snails
and newly sprung ferns unraveling every tendril in spring,
when the air is damp and rich
as black soil

Pulmonary Veins

Babies wait with open mouths
Lovers wait with open arms
to be fed
to be soothed
to be witnessed

We suck like infants at the heart’s thick nectar

Left Atrium

Tonight we’ll have dinner, and we’ll eat dessert
Tomorrow we’ll be fat and we’ll grasp at each other’s bellies
and make love

again and again

pressed up against the impermanence of longing
that will
like a fast train

But for tonight we are rich and beautiful

and full

Bicupsid Valve

Please pass the cherries. Please pass them.

Left Ventricle

The juice is so warm and it stains my chin and tongue
When I bite your lips
They are redder than red

You exhaust me


While you rest, I will creep out of bed and make crepes or waffles, which is how
I imagined
would be
And you will smile at me over the paper,
the smell of coffee and oranges,
your blue shirt
your soft blue eyes

But—I have never been a morning person

And the way that you chew. Oh the way that you chew

Jill Goldberg

Jill Goldberg writes from Vancouver, BC where she is both a student at UBC’s MFA program in Creative Writing and an instructor of English literature and creative writing at Langara College. She is currently working on her first novel as well as working towards production of her first short (animated) film, which features a fast-talking turkey sandwich as the antagonist. Her writing and some photography has been included in Tikkun Magazine, Sub Terrain, Matrix Magazine, and anthologized by Siren Song Publishing (Montréal).

Naiche Washburn

Naiche Washburn is a Denver-based artist, voice actor, and game designer. Naiche enjoys comics, cartoons, horror movies, and 80s music.

First Featured In: No. 3, winter 2015

F(r)iction #3

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