Six Poems by Russ Woods


Sara felt the first of some rain
coming down on her
as she walked home. A
drop. A pause. A drop. A
pause. A pause. A pause.
A drop. She felt there was
a rhythm to it. Like morse
code, but not. It was telling
her her life was wrong.


The dirt behind Sara’s
apartment was full of
worms. They lived there,
like Sara lived in her
apartment. The worms
weren’t organized like
ants. Sara was also not
organized. On mornings
when she was up, early
early mornings after the
worst nights, she would
put her fingers down
between the worm bodies.
Index worm-part middle
worm-part worm-part ring
worm-part pinkie. The sun
was not even up yet.
Worm-part worm-part. The
sun was after her.


Sara’s dog found cat-
bodies every where he
went. He tried to step over
them but there were too
many. His paws sunk and
he stumbled trying to walk
over them all. Some of
them were alive. Some of
them he couldn’t tell.
Where did all these cat-
bodies come from.


This morning Sara found
a bear in her shower. She
got up to pee and was
peeing, sitting quietly on
the toilet when she noticed
the sound of bear-
breathing behind the
shower curtain. She didn’t
run away or open the
curtain, she just stared at
it. For a long time. Maybe
the bear was staring back
at her. Staring at same
spot on the other side of
the curtain. Maybe she
should get in and turn on
the water. Maybe his fur
would be nice and warm.
Would he start killing her?
Wouldn’t he have started
killing her now if he was
going to kill her? Did he
know she was there? Sara
wanted to feel the pads on
his paws with her fingers.
The bear wanted to smell
her hair. Sara finished


Sara’s kitchen had a
bookcase in it with a vase
on top. The vase was filled
with fake pink roses. The
pink roses pointed at
nothing in particular. There
was a ceiling fan overhead
that turned much too
slowly to circulate air. The
vase was made of red
translucent plastic. The
vase didn’t know why it
was there. None of us do.

What Cats Look Like

i am an image
on the retina
of a sparrow

of what cats
look like
when they

you are the

in the cat’s
brain stem
to catch, to

eat stuff.
we are
in love. we


Profile: Russ Woods

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