photo of a campfire at night

The One Bad Day by Amanda Stovicek

CW: sexual assault

It starts outside the body, something in the sky—
a fire blooming behind the trees
that calls you. Like ocean waves and rip current
like campfire heat curling cracking
the sound blue-shifting siren wobbling
away from you. But this isn’t all physics
when you fall apart at your joints,
rib engagement, conscious of your own heartbeat.
Body made of rune stones and broken
crystal and velvet. Remember when
the stars came out at the Grand Canyon
and you left your body for the river?
Remember the red sand silt and space dust
glowing in continental blackness?
That’s what you can’t get back to,
can’t let the fog of memory pluck the wolves
from trees and bring them home.
You are not that wild. You are not
the offspring of time, the relative
of minute, hour, day—you are the heat
that came from somewhere else the gravity
tragedy threading every scar together. 

Amanda Stovicek is a poet from Northeast Ohio made of star stuff. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Gordon Square Reviewsidereal magazineBARNHOUSENice Cage, and elsewhere. Her debut micro-chapbook, SPACE SPECTACULAR, was published by Ghost City Press in the 2018 Summer Series. You can find her at  

Lead image: “Campfire” (via Flickr user Anthony Viviano)