Rift Time


A crevice spilling seconds

into the endless cup,

a whorl of glass so fine


as the film of saliva over lips

spun in the gasp of a moment,

tongue tucking back into its cave—


the cool stop-flow exhale,

waiting, weighting,

the mass of time


evaporates from the flesh,

swirling in the tangled ether,

sprouting from rooted breath;


the clock unfolds between lovers’ teeth,

blooming into a flower, its face

the weeping mask of an instant,


its hands two warm, slick leaves

reaching through white picket fences

to conjoin in the space between.


by Ross Moretti   


Gravity’s Arrow


Gravity carries only one arrow in his quiver,

a bolt of blackened cypress salvaged from fire,

tempered in the warm ashes of sorrow.

It is fletched with red feathers, plucked

from a falling dove dyed in blood and cherries.

Platinum-tipped, it shines in the sun,

and in the darkness drips a slick glimmer.


This is all he needs to bring the world down,

to bring the moon to her knees

and make her sway with the ocean tides.

One arrow, fed through with steel cable

that he keeps in a coil on his hip.

With this, he will seize you by the heel, Achilles,

and drag you back from the far shores of Troy,

sparing you the final grief of heroism.


by Ross Moretti 



Excelsior, or Lover Lost to an Overdose


Cellophane tensions


pearled intoxicants

mixed in the dark:


we pumped

everything you never had

into that syringe,

sealed with a kiss

over the needle.


I pierced you with the feather

and you took wing

in the psychotropic aftermath:

fluorescent eclipse and

nectared aurora.


Mid-flight, you realized

my gold foil betrayal,

pretty in the sun, but


the brass knuckle of my love,


and you flew skyward

through frosted cloud

and filament air

to dash upon the knife-blade stars,


leaving me to crystallize

amongst the raining

celestial shards.


by Ross Moretti 


Ross Moretti is a first-year graduate student at Stanford University. An aspiring poet who originally hails from New Jersey, he was published several times in his undergraduate literary magazine, Lafayette College’s The Marquis. He recently participated in a poetry reading with Matthew Dickman, in recognition of one of his poems in Lafayette College’s annual H. MacKnight Black poetry competition.

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