By Saying One Thing We Exclude Another by Jessica Guzman Alderman


Like the dog crushes the bone in her jaw.
Like the charm slips from its chain, catches
a pocket. Returning to that apartment
nine months after his death to find the cactus
split at the neck, clay pot scattered into continents;
birthday cake on a compass—crumbs disrupt
the dead ants huddled against the baseboards.
What soothsaying did you expect? To find
a honeycombed t-shirt and then the moth
trapped in a candle’s wax. Only this sward
slivered by the window, where a mushroom
stretches its crooked stem above the grass,
sunlight snagged on the scales of its cap.


JESSICA GUZMAN ALDERMAN is a Cuban-American poet from southwest Florida. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Copper Nickel, The Normal School, Meridian, and Sonora Review, among other journals. She reads for Memorious.