Devon Bohm

Sunray Venus, Angel Wing, Moon Shell

The concentration on your face 

is the effacement of the pond

as it creates a clean, unblemished

image of the sky. Except there—


the blackening of the water

as it snags and eddies around 

your calves, around where you 

dip your thick wrists into the stillness.


I have given this water my blood, 

rust dispersing from the featureless

soft of my arching footsoles. You

make an opus of your movements,


just as a snail does: slowly, slowly,

just as he was meant to move—

with care. There is nothing shatter-

proof in this delicate world, least of all

the seashells you bring back to me


on the boat. It is something my

father did for me—bringing me

the world in small celebration.

It has always been that which 

hushed the ringing in my chest—


the susurrus of sea hidden inside 

the sunray venus, an angel wing, 

a little, luminous moon shell. We

won’t have the pale mouths of the


tulips for months yet—their dolorous

song so loud from the trash. Your face

opens as your hands do, with another

treasure, another gift, another piece


of something to hold—carefully,

carefully. As I am meant to exist

in your world. With precision.

With ridges. With light.

Wild Strawberries

Everywhere I have lived, 

there have been wild strawberries 

waiting for me to find them.


We’ve been here five years, 

in a place I didn’t want to come to, 

building a home and a life anyway,

as clumsy as we are. 


I was daydreaming about

the shifting of sand, aquatic

animals as translucent as ether

brushing lightly, lightly against

my empty hands and I felt

the shift in my marrow:


small as my smallest fingernail,

perfect cartoon hearts as red as

bleeding, hidden in the weeds

next to our driveway.


Fingers purple with spring rain cold,

I had to touch them to believe

them real, these sacred objects,

these sage and perfect fruits

there to tell me:


there is no home, only heart,

no home but where we’ve chosen

to find this berrying, together.


The dog pulled at his leash,

and I left them for the groundhogs,

the squirrels, for you just upstairs,

waiting patiently for me to come in

from another storm, confident in

knowing I would always come back

home.

Take Me to Rhode Island

It’s how the wind gets the trees all worked up,

how there’s that calm space in the middle

of the chaos—an anchor, an eye—how

the jellyfish all gather up after the storm

while the crabs dig deeper into the seabed,

how the peach buds are ripening now,

weighing down their still-slim branches,

how swimming in this salt pond makes

some parts of me untouched by water

more buoyant, too, how we have to say

horses when we see horses plodding

their way down the sand on the beach,

how cold a beer is in your hand, how fine

the sugar sand, coating my legs in sheer

stockings, how ever since we scattered

my father’s ashes I’ve wondered in each

and every ocean if we could align so our

atoms could maybe brush up against each

other in the salt stung vastness, and it’s how

I knew I loved you before I was ready to—

it was and still is the closest to natural,

a part of this world, I have ever felt.

Devon Bohm received her BA from Smith College and earned her MFA with a dual concentration in Poetry and Fiction from Fairfield University. After serving as Mason Road’s editor-in-chief, she worked as an adjunct professor of English. She was awarded the 2011 Hatfield Prize for Best Short Story, received an honorable mention in the 2020 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, and was long-listed for Wigleaf’s Top Very Short Fictions 2021. Her work has also been featured in publications such as Labrys, The Graveyard Zine, Horse Egg Literary, Necessary Fiction, Spry, andSixfold, with more poetry forthcoming in Sunday Mornings at the River’s Covid Anthology. Her first book of poetry is due out in November 2021 from Cornerstone Press. Follow her on Instagram @devonpoem or visit her website at www.devonbohm.com.

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