Allison Titus

The Glacier
Issue One
Fall 2022


It’s late morning, late spring —                    opera of cicadas

in the tallgrass obscure sorrows, a field 

recording we make by moving into the green 

heart of this clearing: a waterfall 

to engrave the fog 

with white noise & little diamonds. We stay 

& watch nature happen 

for a while. My blood is hot. 

I’m longing for this time like it’s over 

already but I’m still inside it —

what’s the word for that?                     

Language fails,                    dumb joke about a horse

with a long face.


From this ache of time                we sort of know                what could have been

possible                             We split our futures                         tender in the going

& this feels like a forgetting                    our bodies do

without us                             even as the pixels approximate our faces

until we are far off again               inside our own distances

When we video call for the first time I study all the angles

of the room                         & her smooth black turtleneck sweater

She lives in Berlin near a lake with swans            & counts them for me

I live in Virginia                  a few blocks from the river        where teenagers go

to share cigarettes          & practice their brand-new feelings

on the cinematic boulders            Enjambed how we are always

stopping & always going               on inside this modern romance

facsimile that fits inside our small machines                      slipping us through screens

into high dramatic futures            All the other lives

we almost lived but didn’t                            & won’t                See how we subtract

ourselves from space                      before we allow ourselves to fill it

Today she texted me a photo:                    flock of swans                      glossing under the bridge

little moons on the water            sunglint metallic

To be adrift                         & that luminous —                               Tell me it’s late

but not too late —

ALLISON TITUS is the author of three collections of poetry, including the forthcoming HIGH LONESOME (Saturnalia Press, 2023); a novel and several chapbooks, including SOB STORY, winner of the Barrelhouse chapbook prize. Her poems have appeared in A Public Space, Tin House, The Believer and Gulf Coast among other journals, and she is the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo. Along with the poet Ashley Capps, she is the co-editor of the poetry anthology The New Sent(i)ence, forthcoming from Trinity University Press in 2024.

Artwork by David Dodd Lee.
© The Glacier 2022. All rights reserved.