Spider Blue / Laura Christina Dunn

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Laura Christina Dunn graduated in 2009 from the MFA program at the University of Montana. Her poems have appeared in journals such as At Length, Fugue, The Bear Deluxe, Zocalo Public Square and Alligator Juniper, among others. A musician and a playwright. she has released three full length ablums with the Ghosts of Xmas Past and has composed music for ArtParty Theater Company and RadyBloom in New York. Her first full length play The Snow Queen: A Folk Opera appeared in this year’s Fertile Ground Festival in Portland. She was the recipient of the 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship in poetry and The Bard Deluxe Award from ORLO.





Beyond the white wave, my brother’s soapy body

is tangled in shallows and seeps a gray shadow

over stirring water and the submerging light

of the sky. He is watching


the sea crows fill their mouths with dimes

and scattering ash. He is not watching

the way he leaks twilight from pores, that as he

washes, the world dims like an aging eye.


If the ocean were glass what would link

shore and ship as they cut horizons? Motion

connects two bodies standing far apart. A wave unrolls

like wet sheets thrown back from a bed.


Reneé, I wanted to be as old as the water,

so I could disassemble a cliff grain by grain.

But we scrub our skin as if a quarrel with the body

illuminates our quarrel with others.


The gray of fingertips and a piece of sand

when held alone on the thumb is the gray

of the crow’s shadow washed ashore

from his dying hair. We are part


of his call, as if from the throats of birds—

addressed to no one, but a way to point to the world

as it dims. For a moment, I could still see


what made me so angry. Water breaks apart the shore

with a heavier slap this time. For a moment,

the mind turns from death

to the memory of ships.