Jory Mickelson

Jory Mickelson’s work has appeared in Oranges & Sardines, New Mexico Poetry Review, Ghost Ocean, Assaracus, Knockout Literary Magazine, Boxcar Poetry Review and other journals. He is the recipient of a 2011 Academy of American Poet’s Prize and his chapbook Slow Depth was published by New Sins Press in February 2012. He maintains the writing blog Literary Magpie and is the poetry editor of the literary magazine 5x5.

Our Pushcart Prize Nomination from Issue 2:

Night Shifts
a poem

How good the green air felt against
my skin when I broke from the foundry’s
door, to leave behind the vulcan light
we pounded thin for thirteen hours
at a time, until it turned more delicate

than wire, became a tracery of orange
against the skin. After passing under
the dull lights in the yard, how good
to be pooled into the certain cool
of an April night. How the hammer

echoes in the ear and follows me into
sleep. How loud the body’s metronome.
Below the tic of cooling muscle, eyes
dim in their sockets, then just the web

of breath remains. The headlamp mind
released from the body’s tether drifts toward
soft-edged trees. How similar the road at waking
to the one bound for rest. How the hammer
of the heart swings, as if for hours, in hand.

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