Stephanie Pressman

Standing in One Spot by Brenden Barraza


she wonders why
she writes only of thorns
when her days are grass

the camellia spreads
its magnolia blooms
across the dining room window

the wind lifts maple
helicopters and flings
them into the next county

the window is cracked
cottontails breed
under pyracantha

the slate patio lacks
two triangles when she
plants the rhododendron

what if she wakes up
in a strange bed with a strange
man next to her

voices in her head
tell her she should remember
how the roof collapsed

how it was repaired
how it fell again
and everyone went on


I am the chick, feathers lemon fuzz,

staring at the hole in my hatched shell;

I am dried fragments of albumen,
the shell, the jagged hole.
I am the longing, the fear of outside, the outside
world, the light on terrors and comfort.

I am one eye red, one eye gold in a face
gridded with color. I am the eyes, the grid,
the flattened lips gray against orange,
red against white. I am the color, the woman
standing in stocks, her head bonneted. I am
the stocks. Chilling rain. Blistering sun.
I am the observer, the punishment, forgiveness.

I am the flamboyant one with pink hair
and amethyst tiara in camouflage. I
am the camouflage, tiara, hair, tongue
lolling from a gash of crimson. Hider
and hidden, the clothed leg, the sock,
the shoe. The toes inside, the shin,
the skin bruised from a fall, the bruise,
the fall. The bones within, knitting.

I am parallel furrows of flames curving
around an oil well. I am the stalk, the grape,
the wastewater irrigation. I am the well, the pump,
the motion up/down, side to side, the oil,
the swish, the squeak. The graveled earth.
The interrupting tree, its shade. I am the crop,
the promise, threat, fruition.


Stephanie Pressman has an MA in English from San Jose State University, taught writing at community college, and became a graphic artist and owner of her own design and publishing business, Frog on the Moon. She served as co-editor of cæsura and americas review. Her work has appeared in many journals including Bridges, cæsura, CQ/California State Poetry Quarterly, The MacGuffin, The Kerf, Sing Heavenly Muse, and Montserrat Review as well as on-line in Newport Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Red Wolf Editions, ArtAscent V39, Ekphrastic Review, The Writers’ Café Magazine, The Collidescope, and others. Her long poem Lovebirdman appears in an illustrated volume published in June, 2018.