The Lake
The Lake







Sticks for stacking, sticks from
the brush, knee-high and brittle

a collection from one field

indistinguishable from another
save the rhythm
of gravel under foot, a snakeskin,

the hollow smell of death from

where once a creature fell, made

a meal for those in need

I learned later that sticks

were currency and language

sticks, pieces of clay, hardened into shape
the first typography, the first symbol
like how in childhood “this many” could be
a fist-full of three sticks

how two clumps of clay could be
horses, grain, oil


Just sticks beneath us, all

teeth and hair and clay and bone whirled

into earth like a cocoon

a fossil’s slumber, the whisper of sticks under foot
What is left is

here, and here

are the receipts




Rhienna Renèe Guedry is a writer and artist who found her way to the Pacific Northwest, perhaps solely to get use of her vintage outerwear collection. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Empty Mirror, Bitch Magazine, Screen Door, Scalawag Magazine, Taking the Lane, and elsewhere on the internet. Find more about her projects at or @chouchoot on Twitter.


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Reviewed in this issue Oz Hardwick’s The Lithium Codex, Jeffrey McDaniel’s Holiday in the Islands of Grief, J.R. Solonche’s, The Time of Your Life.