Issue 30: Imogen Cassels

Ambiguous lasting flowers

hard going over rough truck,

eyes widened by sun

and the vacation of a nerve.

blood gleam grease otherwise

happiness. not spare of softness.

or pain’s slow leave, the beauty

that relative beauty earns

or deserves, like a semblance to fletch

and lay as stock—I was then

faithful placable upturned,

weightless as luck the deep flaw

of love is fine for. forget

the journey out. now where

in heaven there will be roses,

for young and sleet

I can slouch backwards






some days I intend to withdraw

entirely, the beginning

of a bad idea then habit

hard to lose. a cloud of shower

bleed, and hymn disturbing site,

the pulse of thought and settlement.

our relieved and longawaited

death of the heart, almost

something to do with the air.

“she moved and was still,

“a coolness went out in her eyes

“and she died. the seasons

screwing into the mist

like acceptable gauze. nothing

to be morning. I am so suicidal

with the beautiful world






an oil painting looks at a boy

for want of washing

and did not care. I test

the smooth action of my lungs,

and caught a day or so

in the old net of breath.

kettle to know which language

you’re in, or distractions

you tab against answering.

what remained of it

was aberrant, an unpinned

comb against resemblance,

with nothing more to say.

a voice already like the bird

it yelps for, so predestined

it holds its shape like a tear






frozen metal to ground.

once who could not look at you

and hope leaves only

the laconic hard drive of form.

what can I say about experience:

my spirit left my body

like a falcon. my words

jostled themselves to be uneven,

without attending to pursuit.

there was no other way

I could have spent that life.

the shadow of a burn so wild

it would uncondition the familiar

measure of any tune. morning

again; relief, carbon, boating

clean through no more songs






are you there.

maybe at the coast

of an unbending line,

attending to nothing.

I had thought the reflection

of my body was the body

behind me; a jug, a lung.

the skin comes right off

my heel, I wish it would.

there is a week, then

a week after that. no

worse sailing for a phrase.

I hope something

exquisite happens to you:

a compound fracture,

ordinary sympathy






short road to meaning.

for all pacing verbs

the far-cast dream

of a relic, and history

it promised, soothe

and fickle. alternate

lives take a long time

to never work out.

when I sink my calves

in blue ice only

my blood will ruminate.

well who could have

intended the possible

consistency of worth

living: a slim, certain,

cedar-lined hatred

Imogen Cassels is the author of Chesapeake, VOSS, Arcades, and Mother; beautiful things. Her work has featured in the LRB, the TLS, The White Review, The Cambridge Literary Review, and is forthcoming in Poetry Review

Copyright © 2023 by Imogen Cassels, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.