- By Edward Clifford
he told me he was glad I wasn't fat yet
but this time, with flesh glutinous on my arms and back,
hips spread like grain, I wax at his bedside and watch
his violeting cheeks, their bruised orchids flutter
with every labored breath and I allow myself
to imagine what he must see:five years and my body
pours like golden-throated honey. We are breatheless.
—from "The Last Time I Saw My Grandfather," from Volume 61, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)
Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I think early on, writing became one of the places where I could say what I was never confident enough to say in real life. Poetry is a contradiction in that way—it creates a space of vulnerability, but in that...