Cover Photo: This photograph shows an iceberg calving into the ocean.
Photograph by Magdalena Kula Manchee/Unsplash

Shuffled Still Life

This poem was written by Katy Gero in a 12-Month Poetry Collection Generator taught by Angel Nafis

I have fourteen nieces and nephews, plentiful and stalking through the blades. The cat changed hands. The dirt is here, on this glacier, pitstop to the stars. Jasons kids are. And Tani took hers, and if Brad— I mean the rain that comes earlier and harder so the story goes like this. Where I grew nothing died for a year. Ive never seen the cherry blossoms but to fight against gravity. Not to the sun, up and up into the sky with the rain and the stars except by fire. And the grass always had a cat and dandelions carrying wishes to the front lawns and the changing of the seasons. Has snow fallen to talk? Ask? Talk? There, the seeds pushing Steven. No, here the seasons served like meals and everyone ended with a girl. I mean they started with strangers. Despite the storms. Despite my fears. My people, though each day I grew by the beach, then Kristin, then Lia. Did I mention Kristin? No, one after another after another. Count them, my nieces and nephews came quickly. By instinct I think of whales. Of womb. My family, no, I mean the snow that drifts in and then away. Away—


Katy Geros collection whalefallwhalefall

Katy Ilonka Gero (@katyilonka) is a poet, essayist, and computer scientist. Her writing has been published in Electric Literature, Pigeonholes, the Blueshift Journal (RIP), and more. She was a Winter- Spring 2020 Brooklyn Poets Fellow and a 2021 Tin House Winter Workshop attendee. She is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at Columbia University and working on a poetry manuscript called ‘whalefall’.