Product 25
Poetry and Prose from the Center for Writers
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Goose Truncated


Little Sleeper

I wake to find my papers have eaten the dog; they’re stacked in the corner, covered in tufts of fur, guilt written over their faces.

Come here, I coax. And how gently I lift the margins, wipe the crusted ink for their eyes. Let me read what you have done. Come curl inside my bed that I might put the dog to sleep.


I’ve grown fond of the needle’s unwrapping from its plastic bag, the wet noodles in my arm, the yellow iodine, the baby pink nurses whispering in my ear, The doctor wants a white blood cell count, suspects high cholesterol, would like to peek through your DNA. A contamination seal cracks and I release piss and sperm from the ocean in my body. I’ve come apart: here a piece spreads its legs for some peeping scientists, there a piece spins in a centrifuge like an astronaut training to leave the atmosphere.

The Doctor's Wife

There is something clever about the doctor counting the pulse in my wrist as if working out in private conversation an equation with beats of blood. Ever the sly fox, the doctor sneaks into my body, no longer able to hide from his claws and walk zombies from my heart like a stethoscope hunting deep the rhythm that lulls his wife to sleep.

Steven Turner Powell is a M.A. student at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers and a tentative student of chess.