“Men argue. Nature acts.”



Palm trees wave their heavy heads,

canna lilies rise brilliant and bloody

in their beds, and the tide floods the streets.

They call it sunny day flooding, because it hasn’t rained

for weeks, and still the water comes.

I haven’t cried in weeks, and still—


I hear the polar caps are nearly free

of ice, that the sea will rise and don’t I know it?

My car founders in the flood.

I like to think this is the only thing stopping me

from finding you,


but that isn’t true.

The tide swept in and took you away. At least


that is what I say when people ask where you are.

I know it sounds like you’re dead, forgive me

if I find that easier.

I’ve tried to live consciously, nothing

without purpose, to do nothing

without consideration for the world

I inhabit.


Since you left, I’ve kept

all the lights on. Since you left,

I drive my car endlessly around the neighborhood.

I eat beef and candy, and I’m thinking

of having a pool put into the backyard, thinking

about buying an SUV.


The water burbles up through storm drains, seeps

into the roots of our garden, kills

our onions with salt. Which is okay, I guess,

since you planted them.


Author: Grace Wagner

Grace Wagner is a queer, nonbinary, neurodivergent poet and artist living with a disability in Denver, Colorado. They hold an MFA in Poetry and a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Houston where they studied with Martha Serpas, Kevin Prufer, and Erin Bellieu. They have previously studied with Carolyn Forché, Robert Pinsky, and others. They were awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2020, and their work can be found in Salmagundi Magazine, The Atlanta Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Offing, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere. For more, visit www.gracewagnerpoet.com.

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