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Julie Weiss

Julie Weiss´s debut chapbook, The Places We Empty, will be published by Kelsay Books in July 2021. In 2020, she was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series and for The Magnolia Review´s Ink Award. In 2019 she was a Best of the Net Nominee. Recent work appears in Better Than Starbucks, Praxis Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among others, and she has poems in many anthologies, as well. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children. You can find her on Twitter @colourofpoetry or on her website at

Dolphin and Song: A Golden Shovel

–After Prince

Splayed on the shore of a dream, I
lose count of the breaths my lungs can’t
exhale, relinquish my body to waves. You disguise
yourself in fins and snout, carry me up to the

surface, disappear in a shimmer. A pounding
on my bedroom window wakes me, warns of
the coming hurricane. I should board up my
home like the rest, flee this waterfront, but my heart,

rocky as a cliff, lures me to the edge of inertia. It
doesn ́t really matter how many beats
I ́ve collected yearly like sea glass, so
exquisite they could turn to light. I wasn ́t strong

enough to divulge my love for her, it’s
true. The night she came, I could have serenaded her in
a spill of music, the room brimming with your ballads, your
words falling like garments before her eyes.

Your spirit hands nudging me forward. What
beast silenced your voice, flattened your shadow? The can
of oysters she asked for, never replaced, haunts me even as I
brace myself for the eye, your songs my only solace. Say

it wasn’t a dream but a premonition—they
say those who dream, desire. If a wave should turn
on me, will you emerge, all dolphin and song, rescue me
from myself, from the whirlpool spinning on and on?

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