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. 

Sarah Duncan


The News

watch the ants slide across the polished wood of our kitchen table it’s more like a desk my grandfather is dying the police clustered around a brownstone two blocks south a cop throws a football to a hovering child with a mohawk my grandfather is dying somewhere a protestor laces up boots surrenders the strings later in a precinct somewhere an actress professionally whitens her teeth with money she made selling her golden eggs, a shrewd goose, my grandfather is dying, he is dying, he will be dead soon, dead, dying, dead somewhere a hand writes with a cheap pen from a bank, a tongue licks the tip to coax the ink coming in gasps





Your mother died; it was raining.

You took your truck down 74
parked on the shoulder

stretched out on the hood
and opened your mouth

like a newborn.

People stopped to help,
assuming there had been an accident.

Refusing to dry off,
you slumped into bed

a wet rag, instantly still,

like the raccoon we found
behind the shovels last March.

I almost touched you then,
but recoiled, drenched

by the echo of your whisper
in that cold garage,

“Is it dead?” 


When I was very young, my father taught at a music program out in Wyoming. To stay connected to both my brother and I, he sent us almost weekly postcards. I remember them being very simple and at the same time a symbol of something both loved and very far away: my Dad. The pictures on the postcards were things like prairie dogs, buffalo, mountains. Although the cards weren't souvenirs from someplace I personally had gone, the gifts were souvenirs from that summer. I looked forward to them every single week. 

Sarah Duncan originally hails from Normal, Illinois (really). She is a queer multidisciplinary writer, performer, teacher, and arts organizer. Her poetry has been published by Ghost House Review, nin Poetry Journal, and Asinine Poetry, Broadside Journal. Sarah performs in and curates poetry events around NYC, and her most recent play "Come Back Up" was recently produced this past August by Sanguine Theater Company. She believes (almost) absolutely everything is invented.