2 Poems by Alexus Erin

Fence over grass and a blue sky

On Chaos Theory, Or, When My Lil Homie Questions Destinism

Sometimes I’ll say,
if you’re gonna wrestle, think then of kingdom, come
Here: better than “if so,” is when

if you’re gonna have hip dysplasia, ask
the angel to bless you. Get gifted
name after new name after new name

Then, I think again: how else
does one reencounter the God
question? In every fresh laundry fold
In the bisected, triune brain. But even
with these presuppositions, I find that any
Big Knowing, without omnipotence,
ultimately only gauges. I say to us both

Honey, it is
probably a question wherein
the space between offers no peace:
when grief,
a sinkhole the size of Texas, arrives, wide as she is
deep as she is ominous as she is prepared to be excavated
It is in quiet living, this fine metal detection,
panning endless for gold-
I can’t say shit
On my better days, I have only ever
considered it like this:

The cows in the field can graze
wherever they want; but acres away, the field
ends. There is, perhaps, a fence

Part 2

In the middle of night, when the rage
of the systemically silenced, flat and dreamless and red

washed over me, I yelped back, nearing
again, the slicing grip of this waking world

To find you, at my right hand
Barely moved, already outstretched

Limbs unraveled lazily like a meandering
of yarn, waiting to be knit into shape, perhaps mittens.

Before I could lose sleep to the soft yellow lamp glow,
or my own scream, what it could have chosen to reveal,

I lurched my sternum at yours
This swan dive into faith, etcetera etcetera

And you, nearly soundless, simply closed your arms.
If I may self-report: this is my bright, and rare glass marble

You, my creek of rolling sound, canvas
of stretched and stone-washed cotton

You paperweight
My miracle


Alexus Erin is an American poet, performer and PhD candidate living in the UK. Her poetry has previously appeared in Potluck Magazine, The Melanin Collective, The Nervous Breakdown, The Audacity, American Society of Young Poets, God Is in the TV, LEVELER, Red Flag Poetry, Silk + Smoke, and a host of others. She is the author of two chapbooks: Two Birds, All Moon (Gap Riot Press, 2019) and St. John’s Wort (Animal Heart Press, 2019). She was the 2018 Poet Fellow of the Leopardi Writers Conference and a performer at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2018).

Courtney Cook is an MFA candidate at the University of California, Riverside, and a graduate of the University of Michigan. An essayist, poet, and illustrator, Courtney’s work has been seen in The Rumpus, Hobart, Lunch Ticket, Split Lip Magazine, and Maudlin House, among others. Her illustrated memoir, THE WAY SHE FEELS, is forthcoming from Tin House Books in Summer 2021. When not creating, Courtney enjoys napping with her senior cat, Bertie.