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.

'At the Palazzo Barberini', Richie Hofmann

'Civilization and Its Discontents', Don Share

'Dusk', Salvatore Quasimodo