Shorter and Shorter by Samuel Willhalm

I stand over

the stone bowl

where I mix the

bits of corn

meal – friction melting

into the steam

kitchen. My hands ache



Skin upholds all

of its parts. An irate touch.

The song from the piano is finite

and I tuck the dome

of my head into the space

between my shoulder blades –


and I carry

on softly, but anguishing –

grouper in deep ocean.


Tea leaves drip. My lips pucker

at the thought of

country. Of floral birth or

necrosis. Of

singularity. Of




Samuel Willhalm is an MFA student at Portland State University. His poetry has been published in the Redlands Review. Samuel currently lives in Portland with his girlfriend and pet python, Douglas.