A Morning Triptych After an Unexpected Snowstorm & Soleimani’s Assassination

Ashley Wagner
| poetry


The day begins as it always does: with
birth control & black coffee.
& you have curtains now, so you pull them apart
like pages or legs or what have you & your partner
doesn’t wake up to the watery light rushing in
because the morning still looks so much like night,
like the sky is holding its breath, is mourning.


The earth & the sky are twin lungs
filled with stars. Don’t believe me? See:
these streetlamps dotting the way
to your car & the faces
of neighbors floating by, pale with sleep
& the crystalline fashion the snow settled into
as your body sunk into the mattress last night.


Halfway to work, your windshield has thawed
& you pass the Popeyes on York—the last place
a friend-of-a-friend had been seen alive.
& my god, he was someone’s child.
& today you are afraid—not so much for yourself,
but for the mothers across the world who awaken
to the empty spaces left behind.

Ashley Wagner is the poetry editor at Ligeia Magazine. Her work has previously appeared in Grub Street and Up the Staircase Quarterly. You can find her reading, writing, and roller-skating all over Maryland.

Bad Yard
new year’s diagnosis