Facing East

Facing East

by J. Naomi Cislo


As if it were possible,

if it were Alice

in Wonderland, redux—


Then a river would curl

the width of a nickel

and flow in tumult

through his right cupped palm,

cross the air,

wind judiciously

through her fingers

as it rushed under earths-pound-per-foot

pressure, down the length of her arm

and waxed back on itself,

having butted up

against her sleeve.


And the air

was neither heated

nor air-conditioned,

nor dank, nor odorless.

Not see-through,

not there,

but measured, by the

white-washed walls

and dripping

from the chandelier lights.


It made her cough,

and he dropped his eyes

and the end of the world passed

between them—

a ray of sun

from the factory window

facing East.


Ms. Cislo left her life as an editor of dictionaries to spend her full days with with her dog “Buster Keaton,” walking in the woods and fishing at the lake.