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I used to believe in cardinal directions;
now, I see how misleading magnets can be.
I hewed my step to so-sure fingers,
I imagined a great gray grid of latitude descending.
No one can stray from an invisible line.

And all I know of comfort
is that I shot an arrow into the sky
and built a home where it landed.
All I know of love is that it is a rope
best tethered to moving objects.


Over the ocean, the seagulls rise on invisible currents.
I sit on this bus and think about the currents
that move the land beneath us, bringing people
to each other like ships, circling.

The last wolf on this island was shot in 1743.
As I drove past its heather grave, I thought about
how we walked through the museum in the city
and did not look at the wolves behind the glass.

In the fairy glen, you can ask as many questions
as you have breath for, but the answers
will come in riddles, or not at all.

This poem is not a riddle. I only want you to see
that you have come with me after all.
Over the ocean, the gulls keep rising.



About The Author

Jenny Williams

Jenny is the Director of the Glimpse Graduate Program at MatadorU. Her stories, essays, and poems have been published in numerous print and online publications, including The Best Women's Travel Writing, The Sun Magazine, and Pology, among others. After completing her MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College, she moved to a small medieval town in Germany, where she currently lives with her partner and their dog.

  • Alice Driver

    I used to believe in cardinal directions too, but now I take cover and faith in imperfection.

  • Keph Senett


  • Abbie Mood


  • Sparkpunk


  • Kathryn Wells

    I love this, Jenny! Wow.

  • Olga Prokhorchuk

    “All I know of love is that it is a rope.
    best tethered to moving objects.”
    This is truly beautiful.

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