3 Poems by Cameron Gorman

Surrealist painting by Sarah Waddle depicting a blue figure screaming on grass, with yellow clouds in a pink sky


the heart line runs
all the way to pluto planet,
its cold orbit inhaling this hand,

your hand, extended, floating,
the see-through thread pulling
close the ring of clouded ice.
tender, this planetary longing,

what you have wept on.
valleys of a mother place
sighing you sweet thing,
you earth-bound darling.

what you have wanted
through the open window,
the child world living
bright and hellish again.

Strangely Violent Weather

the kids are counting down
again down the street, hours
in shivering voices

in the nighttime, dark green
from where I am laying
in the still watered mouth
of the birdbath,
the biting pinkish stars.

heat lightning is striking, lightning
filling my chest in a sheet, lightning
bugs as stuttering broken hearts

and starlight, bring the voices down.
carry them like metal underwater,
like little bird mouths, joyful tripping.

it is midnight,
it is midnight.
it is almost time to run.

And Then Again I Would Die for Her

once I knew a girl who, when washing
herself, watched a cottonmouth weave
toward her in the river
and said it looked like smiling sin.

she was not beautiful.
her face was slick, eyes sick
like green tornado sky.

she lived in a dead place, on dead
air. static grease across her forehead,
lipstick in her mouth.

sometimes on thick nights
she came to me—stood uncold
on my barely lit porch,
and I was afraid.

the sphinx moths swarmed at her,
papered over her wet eyes.
crushed in until her whole head
was nothing but quivering white

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Cameron Gorman (she/they) is pursuing their MFA at Ohio State University. They are an associate poetry editor for The Journal and also read for New American Press. Find them on Twitter @camgorm & on Instagram @camcgorman.

Sarah Waddle is a Texas-born artist and actor, and is currently based in Elgin, Illinois. She recently graduated from Rockford University with a BFA in acting/directing, and spends her time painting her nightmares for your viewing pleasure. You can see her work at @sarahwaddleart on Instagram.