No One Is Dead


She is not a bird.
She pulls her hat down, tight.
She is not a bear.


The day is sunny. It is sunnier than it was earlier today, before the sun rose to the violet’s tip and basement-dwellers came out of their dens, grasping glass jars and leaping about the lawns, catching the first rays, which they brought home to eat the dawn with their bran flakes and flax seed.

It is sunny in the
suburbs. No blueberries
rot on the lamppost.


Her son is here, jumping rope in the street. He counts numbers. He counts cars. He counts cracks in the pavement. Weeds grow in ovals and circles, in intricate rings, which young romantics gather and mail anonymously to those they have never met.


He jumps. He jumps out
of himself, into his grandfather’s
face and skin. The sun

hides behind a bush. She comes home in the dark. She takes the long way home. She wades through the river. She plays some badminton at an acquaintance’s house. She lies down on her front porch. She lies in front of her door. She falls asleep.


Does her family know? Have they heard? She can’t face them. She can’t look at them, as they surround a ham at the dinner table. She can’t open the door. The knob is missing. The windows are barred. She puts her hair up. She looks up dates in her planner. She circles something. She doesn’t have any hair. She holds a hair clip in her hand. She fades into a swarm of fireflies. She blinks. She turns on and off.




Andy Nicholson received his MFA from California College of the Arts and is finishing his PhD at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was a Schaeffer Fellow in Poetry. His poetry has been published in magazines and journals including Colorado Review, The Offending Adam, and Shampoo, and he has work forthcoming in Spinning Jenny.