wicked alice| fall 2009

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Julie Marie Wade


Gala Court, Sunrise



As I first undressed her, I thought of swans.  Wings the colour of candlelight.  Dark feet parting the waters.


We had never kissed, only the flicker of her hand against my back.  Broken open, beads from every string—mercury seeping its vial.


Tongues like wings.  Feathered hair and hands.  A rapturous sound of ascent.  Trumpeting triumph.


Naked, I opened my parasol limbs. 

Naked, her harp strings, her music.


I plunged in.  No bleeding.  No honey-hot stream of our blood.


It was the very early morning of our swan song.  Early, I say, not easy.  And yet it was.  I flowed into her like the first, warm wind of a season.  No one overtaken, and we both succumbed.


Outside her window, singing and splashing.  The sudden flare of the sun.










after Robert Creeley


Early this


Reno wakes us

winds clashing cool

against warm


A hint of

hunger in the desert

your eggs over


coffee sweetened

with cream and a


spread across

our table


Words will be

bread, you said


Here in

the Little Big City

we learn we

are legal

(twelve months into



Someone in politics

thought fit to



which he could

not have


to discuss in


the pros and


and tell us

on the front page




their findings,

their verdict,

their vote:


By narrowest



To kiss you

no longer a crime










Snow, certainly—

soft culmination


deafening anti-sound

the wish to remember: silence

red face in the clouds


my father, who cannot

be comforted


Bless him, George Bailey.


Surreptitiously, snow—

your particular blush


a bottle of cheap champagne

Suggest alternatives to driving.


Staying home

                                                (or) (and) (equals)




out of the question


Damn you, George Bailey.


Enter the questions:


Will there be snow there?


Black ice?                            

And what of the turtles—


Will they freeze on the road?











In the Catskills


a woman dances


to keep herself







a neighbor willingly





And this morning


snow in Cincinnati


brought a bristled hush


to every spinning wheel


on the road










 For Angie




To say what has been said before,

                though more exactly, and with a tongue

                more expert in its twist, its kiss.

                What has been consumed becomes

                consuming, impatient as August

                for the rain.                                                          




                                                                                What roses ratify,

                                                                                will not explain




In pain I have unfolded the Rapunzel

                rope of my hair and you, the deep

                sockets of your diligent palms.

                A window, latticed or curtained—

                we have climbed out of it.  A wall,

                trellised or tempered with ivy—

                 we have climbed over it.  In joy,

                the yeast of the heart endlessly rising.

                In sex, windmills softening stone.




                                                                                Begin again, at the

                                                                                apex, a long-lashed






The needle sticks—see this—iris, cornea, lid.


Another song—

blue, with a fleck—




Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh.  She has received the Chicago Literary Award in Poetry, the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize, the Oscar Wilde Poetry Prize, the Literal Latte Nonfiction Award, and 6 Pushcart Prize nominations.  She is the author of 2 collections of lyric nonfiction, Wishbone: A Memoir in Fratures (Colgate University Press, 2010) and In Lieu of Flowers (Sarabande, 2011), and a poetry chapbook, Without (Finishing Line Press, 2010).