A trend of weather emerges:
decomposition. The lake is frozen now,

the fish strangled. Any weeds,
any green there was, flattened

by a cap of glass. The fallen sun
stays down. Sitting against a tree

I try to think of a name
for the feeling of being a story

that’s over, that’s been over,
that still goes on.




No skeleton. Just a cylinder of muscle:
the house that holds the organs
of each sex.

How it moves on the hook to lure
the brim and bass. They delight
in the writhing; the movement
is half of what catches them.

(At nine, I know what I am called: tomboy, not-girl.
I know the proper way to pluck and spear.
I know the drag and reel. I know their names
and taste. I gut them with my pocket knife.)

Wormhole: the O your mouth
makes when you say it. Or,
the widening of the eyes.
A shortcut between two places in time—
to me at twenty-five. I can’t say
what left or how; only
that somewhere along
the bridge I accepted
both x’s and left alone
the want of y.



Lauren Winchester lives in Washington, D.C. and teaches creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, where she received her MFA in poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages North, The Philadelphia Review of Books, BOAAT, and elsewhere.