Elegy for the Air Plant

Shaina Clingempeel


I swear you inch outward
from the sun—
you who won’t take
my tenderness—
you: a wilt, a wound, a witness
dry as cracked heels in winter
day dragging its coattails
across each cold wood tile
while the steam heat breathes
I find you between
the stove & the wall
the hinge side of the door
wherever I can’t reach—
I am trying to save you
small carcassed thing
having seen too much
I need you to bloom back
into being alive
small slivers of light
between window slats
what we’re all trying to grasp




Shaina Clingempeel runs a small book editing business and lives in NYC with her husband. Currently, she is writing a poetry chapbook that studies the nature of death and how we deal with the immensity of that knowledge. She earned her Poetry MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Poems of hers can be found in Crab Fat Magazine, The Rupture, The Westchester Review, The Heartland Review, Free State Review,  and other places.