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  You could have a big dipper   

For Constance by Dylan Willoughby

You burned my letters with a small white lighter

You sent me the photographs and ashes

Like inscrutable dead tea leaves

You had carved into your wrist "I am ghost"

A paradox because you were ghost and flesh

I wanted both, but the ghost feared me

Some nights we hung out at the long-abandoned

Michelen on First

Grieving for dead tires, it seemed,

Speaking as if we had abandoned

Everything when everything was left to embrace

We were deliciously morose

As you can be only once

You would read me Sylvia Plath

When there was almost no light left

And I stroked your red hair,

The coldest part of flame...


A permanently disabled writer and composer, Dylan Willoughby was born in London, England, and now lives in Southern California. Dylan has received fellowships from Yaddo and Macdowell, and a scholarship from the West Chester Poetry Conference. He earned an MFA in poetry from Cornell University, where he studied with A.R. Ammons and Robert Morgan. Chester Creek Press has published three letterpress, illustrated chapbooks of his poetry in limited editions, and individual poems have appeared widely in journals in the US and UK, including in Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, CutBank, Denver Quarterly, Green Mountains Review, Salmagundi, The Interpreter’s House (UK), Agenda (UK) and Stand (UK). He records as “Lost in Stars,” and his music has been featured by The Los Angeles Times, Nylon, XLR8R, Impose Magazine (including an essay on the importance of the vinyl LP album), Insomniac, Earmilk, Echoes (NPR), KCRW (NPR) and other venues. Twitter: @lostinstarsband

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