2 Poems by Ian C. Williams

One Way Mirrors

Is this more than temporary
fiction, more than a ghost of ashes
stirred in the wind?

Is this more than an arrow, arched
in its course? Would it have hurt
if it passed straight through?

Or am I blind to the fusillade?

Is this more than the rictus
of the swallow fallen
from its perch in the orchard?

     I see you building a structure, but
     I fear the frames will be too narrow,
     joists too brittle, rafters collapsed to the floor.

     I fear the ember to set
     this congregation of fallen leaves


Braille Constellations

My son stares out open windows
    watching stars as if
    translating their cosmic
    stories. He doesn’t

speak, not with his balsa tongue—
    doesn’t want to unveil
    the eager sun.
    He takes to the roof, sleeps

blanketed by dew, refusing
    hospitality. Says we pushed
    the sky from our homes, refused
    lunar bodies welcome, so

he stays outside. When he speaks,
    he speaks in hieroglyphs as he winters
    the waning summer.
    I think he’s looking for answers

to worries he guards
    behind his teeth.


Ian C. Williams is an MFA student at Oklahoma State University. He has received the Florence Kahn Memorial Award from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies for his chapbook, House of Bones, and his poems have appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Altar Collective, The Appalachian Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his wife, Bailey, along with their dog, two cats, and chameleon.



Elijah Tubbs