diode v9n1




I’ve visited many places:
Barcelona, the local library,

the backseat of your car.  It’s always
the same. Something will come

between us: a memory, your
high school sweetheart, a forgotten

condom, the NBA playoffs.  I can
drive a motorcycle and fly an airplane

but I can’t parallel park a car. When will I learn
about the places that I should not be.

This morning I was sure
the crosswalk sign said Run, don’t walk

but even now, already, I know what you’ll say:
yes, dear, I’m sure that’s how you remember it.


Translations After Midnight

The first step of any how-to:
Stop crying.

But I don’t trust my own
happiness. It might leave

me at any time.

There’s a dog outside my window.
He’s off lead. I wonder why

he doesn’t run.

Even if I dedicated my life
to you, I’d still die


Thank you for the beautiful
introduction to nothing, this open

space. We are pencils made
of bone. We can stand 

in shallow water.



            The marks the firearm leaves
            on its projectile: ballistic fingerprints.

After dark,
you showed me

the stone bell tower
of Écija, built after

the church fire. Your hands,
guided only by sound,

discovered their own
alphabet amongst my ribs.


The Story of the Origin of the Diegetic World

Most linguists agree humans existed
before the caves were painted, first in sugars

and then burned bone,
and I think of the back

of our throats, and I can't help
but pretend to know what you are

looking for, and pretend
that each of our fingers

has a songbird's spine
and sings the liar's narrative.  


Heather Lang is a poet, literary critic, and adjunct professor. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in The Normal School, Pleiades, and Whiskey Island among other publications. Recently, she was awarded the Spain 2015 Murphy Writing Scholarship and the Fairleigh Dickinson University Baumeister Award. Heather, an FDU MFA graduate, is an editor for both The Literary Review and Petite Hound Press, and she will serve as an AWP16 moderator/panelist. See also www.heatherlangwrites.com.