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Craig Shay

Between Seven and Eleven

Childhood is a long hallucination—
Buckets of primary colors
thrown against white walls,

a temporary stay in an idyllic garden
of shining lights and warmth,
where magic markers smell like ripening fruit
of cherry, orange, lemon, and watermelon.

When the illusion falls
so does the horse.

Realities settle in quickly.

A fistfight in the school yard,
a hypodermic needle at the morning bus stop,
a string of burglaries in the neighborhood,
and the death of a grandparent.

Between seven and eleven,
a pack of Dobermans follow you home from school
and plant black licorice in your soul.

When the spell of childhood breaks
the water level rises—


Water Bones

Between Denver
and Salt Lake City

eyes fell—

Awake since New York.

I saw a thirteen year old figure
of myself crawling out of my body

into the greasy belly
of an oily lake.

When the prophet

she told me

“Adventure should be momentous

would soon be tepid

spatial reverence
for a fleeting existence.”


Craig Shay is a first year MAT in English Literature student at SUNY College at Old Westbury. He acquired his BA from Old Westbury in English literature, and wrote his senior thesis on the poetry of Wallace Stevens. He is originally from Bay Shore, NY, and lives in South Setauket, NY, with his wife Rebecca, who is an ESL professor at SUNY Stony Brook. He has had many poems published online and in print, and samples of his writing can be found at his website. He would like to have tea with Groucho Marx.

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