January 2014


  • Artwork by Adrian "Viajero" Roman
  • Editors:
    Tishon Woolcock
    Caits Meissner
    Anna Meister
    Nora Salem
  • Editor's Note:
    On Installations and Goodbyes

January 2014

You Must Be Good

by Robin Messing

You must be the animal
who is never thirsty.

You must sense the split
even before the horse.

You must trap your tongue
in a grave of books.

You must be the valley
that trumpets the cold.

You must listen for the leaves
before they spark.

You must not frighten the dresses
as they shield the song of breasts.

You must not breathe near the wolf
lest he smell your fingers.

You must play only five notes
so as not to appear larger than the moon.

You must flatten the farmhouse of your hips
so your mother may flourish.

You must tether yourself to land
though bells burst from your lit window.

You must be the shepherd girl
herding winds into paper ducts

You must be a bed, a plum, a stone, a mist
never a belly and a mouth.

About Robin Messing
Robin Messing’s novel Serpent in the Garden of Dreams was published in 2008. Her short story “Driveby” was a 2011 nominee for a Pushcart Prize. She is a vocalist on poet/composer Cornelius Eady’s recently released double cd Book of Hooks. Robin is working on a second novel and composing music for Cornelius Eady’s band Rough Magic.

Back to top