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Breath & Shadow

Summer 2022 - Vol. 19, Issue 3

"Weeds" and "Empty"

written by

Sharmon Gazaway


Roots white as cabbage veins

outlandish and barefoot

they cling to their staked-out

turf. Squatters   they’ve dug in tent pegs

deep   put on a show

of ratty flowers like Boho skirts

in an attempt to charm or disarm

you—they plan to stay.

Though despised, you can’t help but admire

these future evictees.

Their sheer variety, their tenacity. You wonder

what’s so valuable

they cramp into a death grip on the sod

flip seeds like coins. But deep down

you know. They are in a life and death

struggle to the bitter

burnt end—and you

you merely want thyme.


Your voice was warm

like this bowl

solid as this hollow

wooden vessel

your voice

on its time-smoothed lip

I hear murmuring

I do

I’m sure I do.

Sharmon's work has appeared in The Forge Literary Magazine, Enchanted Conversation, New Myths, Metaphorosis, Welter, The Society of Classical Poets Journal IX, Ghost Orchid Press, and elsewhere in literary and speculative publications. You can find her work in the anthology, Love Letters to Poe Volume 1, and her poetry is featured in Rhonda Parrish's anthology, Dark Waters. Sharmon writes from the Deep South where she lives beside an antebellum cemetery haunted by the jungle-wild cries of pileated woodpeckers.

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