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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Sarah Ann Winn


A growing forgetfulness.

A pocket for the land

to slip leftovers in.

A mute button made of vines.

A net made to conceal battalions.

A weed made of words.

A secret written in a green pen

on a green page

in a book of green stories.

Furnished with fern

tendrils, tender.

The self when it

unspools, rewinds

takes over,

is not kind.

Ghost Orchid

The ghost orchid

takes the light

and turns it

inward, crawls


over the bark of trees

harmlessly. It doesn’t

even bring its leaves

along, abandoning them


after youth.

It lets its brief bloom

fall away

like the address of the house


you once loved,

your old bike

still leaning

against the garage wall.


Ghost name blooming

on the bark

of a street sign

in a landfill.


Ghost flower branding

a dark world

with white neon.

Late night


at the closed

ice cream stand,

you can melt

with its petals

into the swelter

of rising tides

of drought and smoke

of hunger and everything

that grew you up then threw you out.


If there is anything left

to be haunted

let the orchid

scrawl its ghost graffiti

on silvering wood.


Let these words

be the ghost orchid

whose roots cling

to the roof of your mouth.


Sarah Ann Winn’s first book, Alma Almanac (Barrow Street, 2017) won the Barrow Street Book Prize, judged by Elaine Equi. She is also the author of five chapbooks, most recently, Ever After the End Matter (Porkbelly Press, 2019). Her writing has appeared in Five Points, Massachusetts Review, Nashville Review, Quarterly West, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. She’s
taught classes for the Loft Literary Center, the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, and the Poetry Foundation. Sarah is the founder of Poet Camp, a creative community where she leads online classes, jumpstarts and cozy writing retreats.

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