Daniel Lassell


A landscape of insulated moths,
scotch-tape bloom, and wild-drift
humidity. Here, a summer.
A winter. A cavern of put-aways,
eternal off-seasons.
And who among the beams
wills light away from light?
Through a tiny hole, rainwater
navigates to blur, into colors
like an autumn of the underworld.
Another entry. Another closure.
And far off, a mouse emerges
from the floor’s pink fluff,
in search of crumbs or to lick up
the widening puddle. Allow this mercy.
Inside this cage of odd-folded laundry,
hobby loiter, flowerbed bramble,
find also a gathering of talon, tooth,
slow whittle. Could this be an ending?
It is a place where bones are placed,
hallowed in paper-wrap, bubble,
plastic popcorn—yes. But also,
this place can be where from corners,
the tight-lipped barriers
that uphold a home are home enough.
A wing where an arm can push forth,
up from a floor-bent doorway, a song
of nature vs. nature-found,
as if by foundation, one thing upon another,
maybe even a smallness unnamed can find
a thinning, unknowable truth. And so,
put your hand into this bowl, this
tinsel. Twine. Tombs of cardboard,
a place where now storage becomes
new dwelling, and the wood is thick
with insect life. And if carried
on the clippings of scrapbooks,
moth-holes, feces, then consider also
this wedding of unwanted and forgotten,
vigil without lightbulb, smiling darkness.
Take place among this stagnant,
this smallest of hallelujahs.
Move only when to go.


Daniel Lassell is the winner of a William J. Maier Writing Award and Agave Magazine's 2015 National Poetry Month Haiku Contest, as well as runner-up for the 2016 Bermuda Triangle Prize and Sequestrum's 2016 New Writer Awards. His poetry has received nominations for Best New Poets, Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, and can be found recently or forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Frontier Poetry, Yemassee, Hotel Amerika, and Post Road. He grew up on a llama and alpaca farm in Kentucky, and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.