Ruth Baumann

Prelude IV

Play hopscotch with squares of sun.

What you appreciate doesn’t have to disappear.

But the narrator has to change, by virtue

of the insistence of a reality.

Dark matter sprays itself across the universe

like a perfume. Seduce it back.

Prelude V

Darkness hopes. Heard it already you say.

Some Decembers have a way of spitting out days

like chewing tobacco.

The air holds its breath when you enter.

Frost snaps its own neck, a violence

so brittle it turns tender.

Think of a kiss. Yes, just like that.

But totally different.





Ruth Baumann is an MFA student at the University of Memphis, and former Managing Editor of The Pinch. Her chapbook I’ll Love You Forever and Other Temporary Valentines won the Salt Hill Dead Lake Chapbook Competition in 2014 and is forthcoming this Spring. She won an AWP Intro Journals Project Award in 2014, and her poems are published in Colorado Review, New South, Sycamore Review, and others are listed at

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