You are reading an archived issue of Sleet Magazine. To return to the current issue, click here.


Edward Dougherty

The Mobile

After Joan Miró’s “Une Étoile caresse la sein d’une negresse”

In the realm of the word, the spiraling
black room,
I close my eyes
to see a face floating behind mine.
We balance
and are played on by currents
so fine, so slow who’d think they’d move
anything. And yet, here—
I swing this way
and the face
(outlined by a red mustache
& lines like a ballcourt)
drifts out opposite. The cords of my muscles
make an aching music to sleep by. It is time.
When I open my eyes again
we are alone again,
the word and I,
rain thickening
the room to twice its size.
In an hourglass,
there’s a point where all sides
almost touch.


Edward A. Dougherty's the author of Backyard Passages (FootHills Publishing, 2012) as well as four other chapbooks, and of the books Pilgrimage to a Gingko Tree (WordTech, 2008) and Part Darkness, Part Breath (Plain View Press, 2008).

After finishing his MFA in Creative Writing in Bowling Green, Ohio, Dougherty taught at BGSU and was poetry editor of the Mid-American Review.  In 1993, he and his spouse traveled to Hiroshima to be volunteer directors of the World Friendship Center where they served for two and a half years, witnessing the fiftieth anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They now live and work in Corning, New York, a place defined by the confluence of three rivers and a glass company you may have heard of.