The soft satellite of my father’s ear falls

toward his shoulder.

His chin floats up from his clavicle.

The giant sleeps.

When some breathing thing is vulnerable,

I understand the impulse to crush.

I’m inclined to pierce the softness.

Tenderness is the impulse to protect

what you know you could destroy.

This is the gift of my father’s neck.


Cover Art by Stephanie Broussard

Maya Marshall

Maya Marshall is a writer and an editor. Author of the chapbook, Secondhand (Dancing Girl Press, 2016), she is also co-founder of, the journal on the practical magic of poetic revision. Marshall has earned fellowships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Callaloo, Cave Canem, and the Community of Writers. She works as a manuscript editor for Haymarket Books and has served as a senior editor for [PANK]. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2019 (University of Virginia Press), RHINO, Potomac Review, Blackbird, the Volta, and

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