Issue 1 - Alumni
Statue of a Girl in a Thrift Shop

Statue of a Girl in a Thrift Shop

What happened to your arm,
little girl, your nightgown chipped
away, as if the sculptor’s knife, shaking—
a nervous amateur—
over-thought the fold of your sleeve,

and why those cavernous eyes, amassing
dust until it piles up
like pupils, letting you see
only finished, immobile time—seeing me
do all this before;

and does your mouth say this, a gaping
awe, lipless, spouting murmurings
that waft through your clay hair—
styled with a part, elegantly drawn out
with a fork, so delicate—

more so than the teddy
your tiny fist clutches by the paw,
for he is limp, exhausted
by your ferocity, your refusal
to move—and so his leg has broken off
and he hides half his face
in your gown as you haul him alongside yourself,
alongside me.

Joseph Chilman received his MFA in Creative Writing from Hofstra University in 2013. He tutors in the Hofstra Writing Center and is an Adjunct Professor in the English Department.