well that feeling is new 
sumptuous and delicate ; something i do 
not deserve to feel – 
the richness of the fluttering in 
my ribcage i thought i had hollowed out 

the rhythm of silent words 
as they pad, prong-footed and paw-weathered
across some new territory, some violently
bright country i do not dare to enter 

i sit outside your door, i 
dare not tap the wooden frame 
with my knuckles -- for fear of 
waking this tiny fledgling bird 
we are growing between us 

i dare not tip the scales, the finely 
tuned arrangement of stolen promises 
we lace between our eyes -- (and now 
between the sighs in the internet) 
the gap between your footprint and mine. the tiny symphony of digital letters 
tapping on a tiny screen 
(then quickly deleted) 
both refusing to fire first 
both refusing to fall 
and steadily 
hanging out feet over the edge 
waiting to see how long 
gravity will hold us 
before we dare 
to test it

Lauren Suchenski has a difficult relationship with punctuation. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and four times for The Best of the Net. Her chapbook “Full of Ears and Eyes Am I” (2017) is available from Finishing Line Press, and a full-length collection “All You Can Measure” as well as a chapbook “All Atmosphere” (Selcouth Station 2022) are forthcoming. You can find more of her writing on Instagram @lauren_suchenski or on Twitter @laurensuchenski.

Composition by Daniel Liu.