As if in Heat

purple and yellow fireworks on a black background

by Bradley David


As if in Heat

Alorah Welti


From my balcony at the edge of the world
I watch the city across the bluff,
perched on its cliff–
the lights from which flood the pock-marked sky.

There is a casino there, on the edge,
full of ghosts trying to buy back time.
I ponder their abandoned cadavers,
left to eat dandelions by the root.

Distant, I remember my wife is inside our apartment,
humming a Cranberries song.
She is melting the mirages we collected in the desert
to paint them on the skin of her teeth.

When the spider crawls across my hand I don’t flinch–
I knew it would happen. Instead, I recall my wife
pulling the laundry off the line
into the ribcage basket her father gave her.

The thought soothes me, like knowing an eagle
killed itself for us– the moon in its neck like a fish hook.
My wife planted the thing in her claw-foot garden.
It grew us a tree that said this city never stops dreaming of you.

Husband! she calls, and I think we are gods with skeletons
and somewhere near,
a creature walks on those old graves,
wailing, as if in heat.




Alorah Welti (she/her) is a nineteen-year-old Minnesota-born feminist, synesthete, and emerging poet and artist. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Allium, Cutbow Quarterly, lavender bones, Lit. 202, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Daniel Manacher Prize for Young Artists through the Sandisfield Arts Center. She lives on stolen Mohican and Wabanaki land, just north of North Adams, Massachusetts, with her family.


Bradley David‘s poetry, fiction, essays, and images appear in Terrain, Allium, Rougarou, Exacting Clam, Fatal Flaw, Anti-Heroin Chic, Zoetic Press, and numerous others. He lives in Southern California by way of the rural Great Lakes Midwest. His work can be found at and on Instagram @mystrangecamera.