stars exploded in my hands,
crushed into diamonds
by gravity’s smooth knuckles.
Oceans formed,
smacking back and forth between
my knees like a child.

This faceless
pottery of worlds.

Trees are whirling, syncopated,
their roots flying around them
like skirts, this stomping
heat between dirt and air;
bees punch
through pollen like lovers, tiny
legs curled in space, flowers
spread obscene and delicious.

I play the castanets.

Aaron Hollander


I want a city
with a square so large its
corners curve with the earth,
dipping under oceans, bricks mossed
over by conifer forest,
sunlight weighing down its grooves
like snow –
I want to feel the tumbled domes
behind my face:
wooden windows fold outwards into air
so that these four thousand miles
press as softly as pollen.
I want birds to pull
the continents together, wings
swirling in shadow above
crunching fault lines, so
I can step from 89th Street onto a
Caucasus plateau, shedding
my language like sleep.

There is only to sift and settle,
the sound of the Volga filling up
the vacuum between heartbeats –
and I would breathe thickly:
the smoke layered
in cold churches, their
wood wrapped in sun
that hovers pale
like a distant, fiery bird.
I am eyes closed, wings
inside me aloft,
and somehow inescapably young:

as if a child who, digging
deep with his fingers into the sand,
dispossessed crabs running
headlong into the slow ocean,
searches for treasure
in the shifting earth, to find at last
only what
he had buried there himself
but had forgotten.

Aaron Hollander
AARON HOLLANDER is a rising senior at Swarthmore college, studying world religions and environmental science. He has studied writing with John Rybicki, Peter Markus, and any landscapes he finds himself in. He plays the bassoon when he is not writing, and wishes he spoke Russian. He enjoys symbiosis, double entendres, and eating peanut butter with a spoon. This is his first publication.
The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award