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October, I see you and I am getting closer and A Letter

photo by Eliot Duncan 

February 11th, 2020

By Sallie Fullerton




Like a queen, I wrap myself in garments and never touch the floor.

The earth hardens, and like a queen,

I claim months as my own.


I tie October to a bed and watch it rattle.

Watch it sneak calls and will itself branch-naked.


I swirl my month in my mouth.

I consider its taste and potency. Sneak it under the seat

and, queen-like, deny its existence.


October is in the cellar thinking about what it’s done.

I am in a mood for celebration.

I see you and I am getting closer


October, you are getting soft in your old age

even the sight of an insect

brings you to tears.

You cannot tell if crying is good behavior

Let’s make a raft together let’s make

a calm memory – No.


Out of kindness, I gave you a window.

You see the outside is full of parts –

the sight itself could make the skin shrivel

like stone fruit – getting sweeter

and sweeter.



sober you believe paper to be made

of leaves and those fallen wings


to be important


A letter


My god I am wholly cruel.

I have left you like a prayer to swing and swing in your own container.

I have sewed my name into yours I have used you like a tarp.


The best would have been to carve my words into a bowl

the way a stomach hollows itself

the way a bowel slyly becomes the center

of a system.


Or had I hoped to disappear in all this

to glow along the edges of a

softer feeling. The valve between here and there

a fine crystal.  crisp air.


I gave in quick so

buried somewhere

the weak echo

of something I knew

a note bent upward:

Sallie Fullerton is a writer from Philadelphia. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has appeared in Frontier Poetry and Vagabond City. 

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