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. 

Sage Calder Hahn



I am grasping at the black cat
sniffing his own tail on the

front deck.  He’s got eyes like real people
and eats mushrooms that grow in rings.

At night I cannot sleep.

The moon peering over half-trimmed trees,
the undulation supposed to soothe me.

My doctor told me once, to throw salt
over my left shoulder, in a full moon.

It was meant to starve the wart on my right
knee, but I’ve had visions three years since.

A house on fire. A dead bird, which I found on my windshield
the next morning.  Drops of rain pooling in his open beak.

They are plain things.  
Thank you doctor.

No, I have not been back there since I can remember.
They say under mushrooms fairies dance.  Maybe

the cat eats those too.  




We Were Born



I could not wait any
longer I wrote about
you.  You in your car
singing Sinatra.  

Today is my day for
starvation and I eat
one apple, ribbed
mostly green before
sunrise.  In this way

I am God and not
the crow – holy,
resisting desire
to circle the un-
married corpses
of squirrels on
the road.  I

watch the pines
at their tips, the
way nobody can
see them.

In November we
have one weekend.
There is only so

much to say
about wanting
you.  Every

day I think
about your
arms in the
flannel shirts
you buy from
Wal-Mart where

I sometimes
roam the aisles
hoping to run
into your
warmth again
and be nervous.

The halogen does
this to every
body.  Phone

call, 2am you
ask the question
I have been
waiting to be
asked.  When I

answer, you rest
in it, the way I
wish you could rest
in my stomach – 
the soft inward
curve of a bowl

made in pottery
class – hand thrown,
my fingers twisting
clay, not knowing

the churn of up and
down.  It is not
something you
will teach me.

I am waiting for
something simple
to come.  I
ask you the name
of the flowers in
your hand, you do

not know them.
Why would you?
Papaver somniferum.
I went to college for
things like this.  I

hoped you would
love me for
leaving, you,

in your car
singing Sinatra, I
could not wait

Each time I think on my favorite souvenir, I think of an old grey sweatshirt I got on family vacation in Rhode Island.  I am choosing it because it has not left my mind, and that seems important.  I wore it through years of deep insecurity and it seems bittersweet that both have since disappeared.  

Sage Calder Hahn grew up in rural Northwest Connecticut and currently lives in Boston.  She recently graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Brandeis University in Creative Writing and English, and currently works as a sex-educator in Brookline.  Her writing has either been featured or is forthcoming in Open Letters Monthly and Tinderbox Poetry Journal.  She reads for the Adroit Journal.