What We Cannot Form

Alicia Hoffman


lies in the leaves of the Sitka Spruce
lining Rialto Beach during low tide.

Sits in the fog, resides in the grains
of sand that by stick or hand have 

had our names carved in, as if we could
steal anything from the moon’s ripping. 

It waits in wave after wave of foam, 
in the horizon’s far offing, in the pools 

of neon anemone, their slow opening
and closing. We are walking to the coves 

through the thick mist towards a hole
in the wall, where we hope to discover 

what we have yet to see. It waits in the silence
between our steps. Every rest is full of what 

leaves every time we pause to take a breath,
to mouth the words we know not how to speak.


Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes and teaches in Rochester, New York. Author of 'Railroad Phoenix' (Aldrich Press, 2017), her poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including The Penn Review, Radar Poetry, Softblow, A-Minor Magazine, Redactions, Word Riot, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop.

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