Give me back the days when I was the beach
and you were the ocean, kissing me but tasting sand;
would you please churn your deep volcanoes
and give me those pearls you stole?


Theseus’ Distance
See the map –
these pins are me.
Stainless anchors, their weighted hooks, hooked
to scatterplot events
on a plane, not a line.
There is no great circle,
no calculated best fit to drag me around or niche me.
The dots are ways to measure
Theseus’ distance –
the distance between now and before,
what is and what it came from.
A steel bar,
its atoms split and rolled.
So many heads
thinking this is home;
all of them wrong.
Home is a finite point,
in the middle of the fault-line.



You Go Every Direction In An Elevator


from the anvil’s head

you loose your lightning tongue –

thunder speaks for you.


We stand soaking in the shower, cedar wet beneath our feet, red bricks turning brown as down the rain falls, down each other’s wet mouths, our strident tongues, past walls of smiling teeth that draw blood when nobody’s watching. This is still the movie moment, the one where you lift your uncontainable heel, where a windblown strand of your hair parts our laughing lips, where I still love you in your white dress spattered with red flowers. But we have to go inside, and while we rise together the soft elevator drops my stomach, knowing when the doors part they’re actually closing. And we’re done.


the empty sound burns,

hollows out my secret space –

white hot ghost scars



And X-Ray Vision to Find the PBR


My father is a superhero,

has no special powers,

wears glasses for nearsightedness,

dons jumpsuits for car repairs,

hangs his hat with reluctance,

works around the clock,

gets injured and carries on,

drinks wine because it tastes good,

guards his emotions with distance,

is only there if you need him.





My ashes pump wingless blood,

green and brown and unfamiliar,

through channels spanning

out, from my central year

out, to the new soft flesh

beneath the cracked iron of my skin,

my knotted feet go nowhere,

mirror my exultant, upward stretch,

a hundred thin fingers fluttering

above the subtle shift

of my mighty wooden spine

in the savage wet spring wind,

I bend and bow and spread

seeds, umber bombs of beauty,

the clouds my constant gods

bestowing rain and stealing sun,

and this life, no different than before.




Nolan Liebert hails from the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he lives with his wife and children in a house, not a covered wagon. His work appears or is forthcoming in freeze frame fiction, Plasma Frequency, An Alphabet of Embers, and other publications. You can find him editing Pidgeonholes or on Twitter @nliebert.




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Cover Photo: Joana Coccarelli (https://www.flickr.com/photos/narghee-la/)