Poetry from Annie Stenzel

Fountain pen nib hovering over a drip of black ink on a white page

Photo: Nicholas Thomas

Come, cup of tea, and bid me write morning

Every day, a portal opens, only
to snap closed, catching part of me—
a camera’s shutter, a piece of origami
folded with more passion than skill.

Every day, what of the words snipped
out of a mind teeming with words?
Ah, listen! how often language rings me
like a sympathetic bell.

Clasped hands, surely you remember
every touch from the bewilderment
of butterflies who chose as a landing place some
stretch of skin—your wrist, or cheek, or shin?

Dear hands that have never touched
a harp’s strings; hands that would never wish
to wield a dagger—can you at least speak truth
using this nib that scritches on a naked page?

Annie Stenzel (she/her) was born in Illinois, but did not stay put. Her full-length collection is The First Home Air After Absence. Her poems appear in Atlanta Review, Chestnut Review, Gargoyle, Kestrel, Lily Poetry, On the Seawall, Rust + Moth, SWWIM, Thimble, and The Lake, among others. A poetry editor for the online journals Right Hand Pointing and West Trestle Review, she lives on unceded Ohlone land within walking distance of the San Francisco Bay.


  1. Simonesims says:

    ❤️ Annie’s work and Annie

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