Illusory Chill [poem] by Nance Van Winckel

It was only noon in the novel—startling under the nearly midnight tick of the now. And love only a few steps forward for the woman fishing by the bridge when the man crossing it stops to ask her directions. He peers down.

The sun blinds us when we peer up. We have nothing on the line. Not a tug all morning. The uttermost impossibilities tempt. How beautifully her spectral arm points to the path that leads to the path. Her mouth, when truly kissed a hundred pages in, will be the wet current (already!) trembling over small red stones.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of the poem “After We Kissed for the First Time” by Carolee Sherwood.]

Image by JvL

Nance Van Winckel’s newest books are Ever Yrs., a novel in the form of a scrapbook, and Pacific Walkers, her sixth collection of poems, which was a finalist for the 2014 Washington State Book Awards. A book of visual poetry is forthcoming in 2016 from Pleiades Press. The recipient of two NEA Poetry Fellowships and awards from the Poetry Society of America, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner, she has new poems in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Field, Poetry Northwest, and Gettysburg Review. She is on the MFA faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Professor Emerita in E. Washington University’s Inland Northwest Center for Writers.