​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

​​​lindsay ahl



In the Land of All You Believed You Could Carry


Apollo took the form of a dolphin
swimming through all that plastic twice the size of Texas
in the Gulf Stream

in the middle of a cherry orchard 
between rows of trees
my lover like the earth suspending 
the stars 

when it rains again 
full and cold the north like needles 
we arrive in Detroit

           sunglasses on, hair whipping in wind 

we’re flying down the road like a rare bird
skimming along the blacktop 

while David Bowie sings, 
It ain't that close to love, it ain't that far to go ...

glitter laced hair  

             you said you were going swimming
             then naked like a wisp of light
                       (drowned child rising from her grave) 

a hole in the water
twice the size of Texas 






​Warsaw 1939


the trains

I began to understand, they were not an answer
they were a situation

and then road blocks, stumbling blocks 
I climbed up the side of a building, scarf over my head
shot down 
I played dead, crimson 
in my eyes

so many suitcases left behind, so many 
empty streets 

stock cars, steam engines

stay on track
switch tracks, meet 
the kommendant

I knew they were in trouble
their faint breath, their silence

I knew they weren't headed to the Moulin Rouge

​I could hear the air escape from their lungs







Lindsay Ahl’s chapbook, The Abyssians, was a finalist for the 2013 National Poetry Chapbook Award. Her poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, RHINO, Vellum, Drunken Boat, New Delta Review, and many others. Her fiction includes a novel, Desire, out with Coffee House Press, and stories in The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB Magazine, Fiction magazine, and others. She publishes Shadowgraph, an arts & culture journal. She has an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College.