c o n v e r g e n c e:
an online journal of poetry & art

EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Karin Erickson

Photograph by Ruben Briseno Reveles

Photograph by Ruben Briseno Reveles


By Karin Erickson

When he joined the couple at the next table, I did not find him remarkable —nothing more than a disturbance of air. It was his laugh, the way his breath caught, that lured my eyes from the pages of my book.

The way he rocked back in his chair. Dropped forward to gesture with his hands. Leaned in to conversation like secrets. So like my brother. So much like him that my book found its way closed, to the table.

He spoke of strangers and unfamiliar places and I listened and waited for this heaviness of recognition to fade. And waited.

How could this man possess these mannerisms, so familiar —so like my own? How, if these likenesses were those gleaned from years of attachment? Of Christmas mornings and portraits on walls and backyard forts and camping trips and burying our parents.

How? When these were the gifts of being left to us. All we had left of them. My father's hands. My mother's playful tilt of chin. If they were ours —if they had been theirs —how then, had he stolen them?

I sat long past the shade shifting from my seat —fought this new density sinking in to displace all that had been —and loathed him for bringing me this other small death to mourn.


By Karin Erickson

The camera lens holds you in unexpected snow
Your face raised to this gift of storm clouds
with arms outstretched and lifted

Clothes not woven for winter
make you small, but too bright
to be swallowed by drifts that have
already taken the earth and trees

The shutter release waits for my finger
to freeze you in this space for eternity

But I am also waiting

For the footprints you left behind
to tell me if they are leaving or leading


By Karin Erickson

They fight about nothing —
words left like explosives
not to destroy but distract,
concussive breaks across air
that mask the infection of apathy
the fear of wanting
and the last wound waiting to be inflicted
so they can walk away

Karin Erickson
Karin Erickson

Karin Erickson is a freelance writer and editor from Sacramento who also facilitates creative writing workshops through the Davis Art Center. Her poetry, creative nonfiction, and short stories have appeared in several Sacramento and Bay Area literary journals and zines, including The Walrus, Tule Review, Rattlesnake Pressís WTF, and Soul of the Narrator.

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