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Sunday, September 29, 2013


by Leah Givens

Jordan Linn Graham, 22, was charged with second degree murder in a Missoula, Mont. federal courtroom on Sept. 9, after admitting she killed her husband of one week by pushing him over a steep cliff in Montana’s Glacier National Park. --Laura Zuckerman, Reuters, September 13, 2013

Stone and hope intersect
on a trek no longer
since it's been trodden
so often before.
She knew, though, she
hinted at executing
a vicious trick
if the sky resumed a
certain shade of gray
(or maybe on
a sunny day).
Would do “something,”
which never signifies
blithe, especially
when ascending
a precipice.

In wedding photos
she glows, neck and
below, but eyes pray
like a gas tank
aching to be filled.
He grins, cautioned
but already fixed
on a widow
to be. Women quiver,
he counseled his
soul. Once the ring
is clinched, life's
content. Like-
minded, one trips,
the other recovers.
How fleetingly dreams
lead astray,
crash into a chasm
where they remain.

Leah Givens’ writing has appeared in Sleet Magazine, DOGZPLOT, and The Yale Journal of the Humanities in Medicine, among others. She is currently revising a novel. She received her M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and focuses on medical research. Her photography is also widely published.