A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Nick Rossi



black hair


cars pulling up the hill
engines whirring against the heat
we sat in the sun
full on light
and talked about jumping in the pool
but you were the first to stand up
strip off your shorts
(with walkman guy glancing up from his phone)
and step across the beveled concrete
slowly curling your toes over the edge
looking back before lifting up
and out
abandoning something on the decline
that I couldn’t see

I brought us beers and hung my feet
flicking water at the back of your head
dipping the tips of your hair
and musing on the mundane
as you floated around
laughing when the kids ball hit you
I laughed too
but only as a reaction to you
and I slid feet first under the surface
and stayed there a good long while
until I thought maybe the feeling would be gone
but when I came up
and out
looking across the water at your naked eyes
it returned



Nick Rossi lives in Chicago, IL. He teaches public school. He co-founded/edits/designs for Sobotka Literary Magazine and Ursus Americanus Press. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in MAYDAY Magazine, Esoteric, Vanilla Sex Magazine, Middle Literate, and others. He writes/plays music with a band called Choovanski. He wants to talk Fred Hampton, Rush, and ice cream with you at




My favorite souvenir is an Upper Deck hat I found in a free bin at a church while garage sailing with a friend of mine in 2010. I miss waking up early to waste summer Saturday mornings cruising the suburbs with him. I miss him in general. Even though I’ve always been more of a Topps man, this hat holds a special place in my heart (and on my head) because it reminds me of what and who I care about.