Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.

— Virginia Woolf

Manuel (South Hall)

by Gretchen Primack

Eastern Correctional


What mis palabras do

is give me back fruit




What image does is keep

me a father




What assonance is:

song and dance




Words jewel me




The sound of words

their apariencia

how they mean in my tongue

is how I taste fruit




What happens

is what doesn’t


ankles forget to sprain

radios sound like a moth


leaves and puddles stay put


leaders sleep




notebook opens

and breath is not a block

bound to my chest


it is a cloud broken open

rain broken out



Also by Gretchen Primack: Ismail in the Laundry

GRETCHEN PRIMACK’s poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, FIELD, Antioch Review, Ploughshares, Best New Poets, Poet Lore, Hanging Loose, Spoon River Poetry Review, and other journals, and she has penned a chapbook and two full-length collections (Kind, Post Traumatic Press 2013; and Doris’s Red Spaces, Mayapple Press 2014).


The truth may be stretched thin, but it never breaks, and it always surfaces above lies, as oil floats on water.

—Cervantes, Don Quixote

© 2016 The Indianola Review