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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Reasons for Loneliness


The mountains are a thirsty blue. The sun

skims itself like a thousand flat stones


across the lake. My face is illuminated.

The wind is turning up my hair. A buoy clangs


past the breakwater, that highway of rocks

to nowhere. A sailboat leans and leans.


Listen—the little waves are lapping

the concrete slabs. There is beauty


in the dogged, lakeside weeds,

the hovering, sunlit colonies of gnats.


                                  -Abigail Carroll


The Undoing


Beech leaves unpin their stems, send

their yellow rhetoric through the air—


the forest is unhinged.


Everything is shuffling: insects prance

the rims of downed branches, twigs, inspect


the restlessness,


rearrange their wings. A low breeze

teases the weeds, the still-green ferns.


The dead trunk


of a birch offers itself to the loam, unpeels

its coat in an act of yielding not unlike


the act of burying.


Flawless is the air in the art of dismantling.

The mountains unsettle, give themselves in


to the wind.


Clouds dark as a flock of starlings descending 

cling to the valleys. Look:


the sky is unraveling.

                                              -Abigail Carroll




Unlike, but dependent on, before;

            yesterday’s idea. A country vast


unexplored. Invisible thread

            stitching was to will—seam-line


of time. Part of, yet detached from,

            forever. A contingency of weather.


Synonymous with breath, fleeting

            as a wish; to some minds, a gift.


What comes, is always coming,

            never came; what is humming,


spinning, singing, incessantly

            running. The continual filling


of what cannot be filled; the giving

            of what cannot be given. Perpetual


state of wondering, loving, half-

            loving. The frame the self invents itself in.


                                                                 -Abigail Carroll




I. Aerial


            To Breathe:


            (v): To inhale air and expel it,


            i.e., to take in what cannot be seen—wind, night,

            the memory of clouds—to be alive and not

            know it, to engage in the systematic practice

            of becoming what will soon





II. Sidereal


            To Desire:


            (v): To long for,


            i.e., to be well acquainted

            with distance, know by heart

            the measurements of constellations,

            the paths of light-years

            passing through the corridors


            of the body.



III. Pelagic


            To Spread:


            (v): To extend, unfold, draw out,


            i.e., to stand outstretched, open

            as a mirror to the waves, welcome                                                                   

            the pounding, the infinite rolling; embrace

            what cannot be embraced: the knowing,


            the not knowing.

                                                        -Abigail Carroll