CL Young

Whole Person



I am 0 percent in love

last week I got a fish


I think she will keep me alive

through each Tuesday that comes


quick world


I read your paper

on how to build a better wall


but little girls still die

open hips open shoulders


if I showed you my organs

you would look




dogs are eating snow from the air

they are not my dogs but I understand now

why people have pets

have children

to keep at home

to remember the imagination

to care for a thing

less careful than

last night I asked Melissa if when

she meets people she knows

how it would be to fuck them

I didn’t mean fucking but crying

giving a baby a bath

cutting hair cutting toenails

I guess sometimes people seem nice

then all of a sudden they’re in me

hard without asking

this week my friends have been having good sex

they’ve been getting drunk in bars

in New York or San Francisco

they say they are almost

strong enough for phone calls

I love holidays because people leave or I do

I love snow storms because they remove me from myself

I am almost ready to hold the sun

in my hands I promise

I won’t let it fall

It’s the boys who get to do the naming

and the girls are left with everything else


—Lyn Hejinian


on the plane from Seattle to Denver I watch myself drink two

vodkas in a row the Rockies watch too cities lit like small forest fires

below draft one of Becky’s wedding speech my cells peeled slowly

from Washington by Styrofoam dry ice germ tube Sarah got into a

car accident now she has a lease on life she said she’s been talking

even though sound isn’t ours the Colorado River is wide I will

encounter the kind of language I deserve the Colorado River is wide

and I would cross it the men next to me talk about real estate

pretend I am not crying one of them has on a thick collegiate

sweatshirt that touches me every time I stop being small enough his

hand trembling around his iPhone reminds me what else Lithium

can do to a body but it doesn’t make me want to sleep more Ava is

going to stop using death to describe success people on the plane

look happy even though we are moving 600 mph away from

Christmas I have nothing left but space some plains look like the

Colorado River and I would cross them the poem by John Ashbery

in the seat pocket New Yorker says you remind me of you I don’t know

how else to say that 








CL YOUNG was born and lives currently in Colorado. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in GlitterMOB, PEN Poetry Series, Poor Claudia, Powder Keg, The Scofield, and elsewhere. She is the author of a chapbook called Overhead Projector (H_NGM_N Books) and is from Boise, Idaho.