Tori McCandless


To write a bed in the rain of quiet
Then wake to its words that I can’t take off
Is to wonder if absence hums neon
A whisper amplified as night turns on

If I bridle the hum that vibrates steel
If I bring the hard black lime back to ripe
If I brew the reference that was wrenched
Loose, will the developing film leak light?

Time unwound from cardinal directions
Streets unmoored from cobblestones and asphalt
The you of this poem become you, too
And unsung softness starts to ossify

Because my salted body was never
Virtuous, only opening its mouth.

Tori McCandless is a teacher, writer, and PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. They are currently at work on a dissertation about ecological catastrophe, sound, and labor in Modernist poetry. Their writing can be found in ASAP/Journal, Edge Effects, and Beaver Magazine. Twitter.