Literary Orphans

Monk’s Dream by Lauren Hilger

The divine skull,

the thick skull, the skull of registry glass,

I mean regency crystal, of which I know little,

the thing with which I used to play that was my

grandmother’s, that was her ashtray, that wasn’t a thing

with which for me to play but for her ring, the skull a major

triad, the skull legato, the thin seminary drapes, the skull alone

in the cathedral, skull of my gold pen in its looped name, ascending

a flight of stairs, hear someone’s improv piano. It gets louder each floor

but it’s loudest right above you. Just through the ceiling one floor up. Keeping

you. You’d like to find the musician making home of some top stair. The staircase

has a warm, still smell of a children’s library. Whenever you can, come, no matter what day.

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Lauren Hilger‘s debut poetry collection, Lady Be Good, is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016. Awarded the Nadya Aisenberg Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, where she was a fellow in 2012 and 2014, her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Harvard Review Online, Kenyon Review OnlinePrelude, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens Journal.


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Art by Helen Norcott

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