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Ceridwen Hall

Ceridwen Hall is a poet and book coach. She is the author of two chapbooks: Automotive (Finishing Line Press) and Excursions (Train Wreck Press). Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Pembroke Magazine, Tar River Poetry, The Cincinnati Review, and other journals. You can find her at

Pulse & Ciphers

I’m trying to hold my life in my hands again. I want echoes
to steer by—warmer than charted stars. I said water

and meant rain: drops surrendering to the lake as a heron takes
flight. I meant to remember how a body can become a boat—

how we once spun rafts from the dock, dropped our tether rope.
My life meant not the car I drove, but the way we traced the curb

when you taught me how to parallel park. I used the rear mirror
like a periscope; you were patient when the engine stalled, said

nothing if I panicked. Last spring, I thought armslength would be
the easiest measure, then it stretched for hours into a dull ache.

Learning to walk with fogged glasses and double mask, I missed
your hands swinging me along. By want I meant am: a hammering

in ribs, wary of the dive and plummet. By I, I sometimes meant we
carried instructions for every scenario but the one we found ourselves

in, where distance and silence were strategic forms of love, growing
protective codes: lungfuls of story, bated launch signals.
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