You were born with a paper lantern for a       heart,
the skin lit from within, the light in       danger
of going out.


“Girl Lesson #3” contains images from a nightmare I had about my best friend’s house burning down, which I tried to make into a poem about a year ago. The walls appeared as thin as the shell of a paper lantern and I was convinced my friend was inside the house. Nothing came of my first attempt at the poem, so I combined that image with my obsession with writing poems about the body to create this poem. It’s strange how the threat of the flames as all-consuming changed to a threat of the flame going out.


Sandy Longhorn is the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press). New poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Anti-, Lake Effect, Redivider, Spillway, and elsewhere. Longhorn lives in Little Rock, is an Arkansas Arts Council fellow, and blogs at Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty.

'Self-Portrait as the Local Weatherman', George David Clark

'Civil', Danielle Sellers

'Childhood Home', Stephanie Palumbo