Issue 6: Morgan Harlow

Elegy to a Higher Love

after Isis and Osiris


I have wanted to be you,

yet finding the stars unlit.




Atalanta, how we never loved her

How she became the year you were born in,

How she became your wedding day.

Grandad called her sister and her

Brother called her Mom, and

her Mother called O, Boop de

Boop, come tie my necklace on—







to you


the human



                      Your belt, now lying

   on the ground, a snake that made its

         way, encircling my thigh

      then up to


my heart and swallow


                 its beating.



Resurrected from the dead, your physical body not whole, fragments

Missing, you were dressed in a bathrobe as you must have been

Then, when you died.  A wrinkled robe, tired smile holding

Me in your death grip, kissing my eyes, drawing a careful

Circle over the North American continent and its surrounding

Oceans.  A shaky effort but when you were done a perfect

Roundness you joined with another circle on the

Other side of the world, Asia.  Two sides of a coin, an

Offering for my firstborn.  You retreated then, back into the

Realm of the damned, and I became like Echo chasing after.



Soft and round like a whale, the head of a whale slipping past our open hands.



Breaking a tablet of Ativan, feeding on the body, tranquility.



How much gin could a gin drunk drink if a gin drunk couldn't get drunk.



At Grandfather's funeral, the cake moldering in our mouths.  Grandfather an orphan.  And you, they thought you were a rogue, but to me you seemed sophisticated, debonair,



an attitude I admired,



and now, after hanging around for so long and so oppressively, you’ve disappeared.  Desperate for misery, for both of us, I’ll call you, I promise, in a dream.




                  See now, the death of a lake

                  All filled in with dirt.

                  I tried to swim,

                  Diving headfirst in mud,     

                  My eyes open, seeing


                  Darkness and getting




while everywhere else there is water, the whole rest of the

world, light translucent water, good for seeing and swimming in.

Morgan Harlow has poems, stories and other writing published or forthcoming in War, Literature & the Arts, Tusculum Review, Washington Square, Descant, Seneca Review, The Cortland Review, West Wind Review, Otoliths, Nthposition, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an MFA from George Mason University.