by Calvin Olsen


I meant to weave a nest today,
to replicate the spider’s web
with floss or something runnable
through teeth. I want to be a cannibal.
I want to ride a horse. I want to
swim across a pond & pull
the leeches from my feet.
They are tear-shaped & clear.
They are the color of blood.
They are islands, each
& every one torn from a sea
of skin by the storm of my fingers.


CALVIN OLSEN’S poetry has appeared in AGNIThe Adroit JournalThe Blue Mountain ReviewThe National Poetry Review, and Poet Lore, among many others. His translation of Portuguese poet João Luís Barreto Guimarães’s collection Mediterranean recently won the 2020 Willow Run Poetry Book Award and is forthcoming from Hidden River Arts later this year. He lives in North Carolina, where he is a doctoral student at NC State.


Photo: “nest” by derya