Salamander 2024 Fiction Contest

SUBMIT: May 1 through June 2, 2024 | READING FEE: $15


Dear Wallace, “You were only here because”

Julie Choffel
| poetry


You were only here because

at some point someone made space for you


I too want a predictable home

so I can do whatever I want

but for you and for me this

translates differently


what people don’t realize is

form is personal

for women form it’s a kind of ending you know

we birth ourselves over and over

after each little death

an army of me


maybe we’re only reinventing


like music and flowers


to know work by another name


to know the names of love


to love the un-


I mean we can’t even agree

if resources are fixed or infinite


let me tell you

a resource is just a pocket

a rupture in the pattern

when the mothers part the waters

and everyone runs through

Julie Choffel is the author of The Hello Delay (Fordham, 2012) and two chapbooks, Figures in a Surplus (Achiote, 2010) and The Chicories (Ethel, 2019). Her poems can also be found in Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, the tiny, Phoebe, and The Wallace Stevens Journal, among others. She teaches creative writing at the University of Connecticut.

Portmanteau Prayer for Moms
Dear Wallace, “Many, many animals and insects”