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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2012 - Vol. 9, Issue 1

"Upon Waking in Five Center"

written by

Elisa Karbin

Oh sweet girl, what I wouldn’t give

to spread out my madness

like a map before you, to take


your small hand and guide it down

the divergent paths of blackness

and light. Sweet girl, they spread


across the page of me, contained

only by the borders of this world and

the loamy depths of the next. Do you see


the snaking hills and valleys, like a river,

like a heartbeat? This is our bloodline,

sweet girl. These are the veins


and arteries drawn upon us, etched

into our brains in cords and synapses; lines

of our collective family palm. Each


contour contains a history; mauve-lined

walls and wonderland pills

that so quickly lose their luster.


My sweet girl, I would let

myself to bleed a thousand seas

if just to fold the record


of me into a paper boat

to sail you off the course heading

towards such unrelenting shores.

Elisa Karbin is currently an MA student at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she is studying creative writing and is an associate editor of Cream City Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Miranda Literary Magazine, Barnwood Press, Right Hand Pointing, and The Lily Lit Review, amongst others. She is thrilled to be included in this issue of Breath and Shadow.

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