Illustration: photo of brain coral digitally manipulated to resemble stop sign with beating heart--or a glowing pandora's box--against a pale sky


A yellow sign with a red heart
throbs in the Midwestern sky:
Love’s Travel Stop.

Thick clouds and the horizon line
of razed brown fields.
If I gazed patiently enough
could I see radiant colors there?
Would blankness open like a door?

Imagine love, that crimson glow.
Its saturation, its blurred edges.
When I dare to get right up close
there’s nothing there to look at
but something keeps looking back.

A door opens, or does not.
There is no object in this abstraction:
only its color, an arterial pulse;
only its volume hovering.

Only a silence that keeps on asking,
What are you still searching for?
This is your destination.

Anne Myles’s poetry has appeared in the North American Review, Split Rock Review, Whale Road Review, Lavender Review, Early American Literature, and other journals. A recent transplant to Greensboro, NC, she is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Northern Iowa and in 2021 received her MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Illustration by C.B. Auder.

NEXT – dissolved shadows….

RETURN to Issue Eleven