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SE Waters

SE Waters (they/them) is a poet and nonfiction writer, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing from Indiana University. SE is also a parent. They have been published in Cathexis Northwest Press, Monster House Press, and Limestone Post. SE was also long listed for the Palette Poetry 2021 Love & Eros Prize, judged by Kaveh Akbar.


The sky is wiped with a bar rag, and the sun cards scatter to the ground, then into our ovens, then deeper into the hands of our dead, patient. Each summer evening, bats play their sonar requiem, half time. The trees don’t mind. We don’t get enough of their orange and black silhouettes, framed eternal each twilight like the cover of that Mountain Goats album. The Sunset Tree was lodged inside the conveyor belt mouth of my car for three years. My father once drove my car alone and he couldn’t help but listen to the same iron whine, the same petals raining over him in a flash summer storm, the kind where you can’t find shelter, so sudden and lush, so you stand there agog offering to forge your own signature or call your mother. I’m greedy for sunsets which is another way of saying I’m not ready to die. When he gave the car back, my father said he liked the last track best, the one where the son is at long last understood by the father. I think now I understand the gesture he makes, his lowered head and jeering horns. The car died and I left it like a tin can beneath the Green Mountains. Anything else we could say to each other hulks in a landfill.

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