Something Lasting

Leave a comment

December 1, 2015 by The Citron Review

by Derek Graf


– After Jonathan Johnson

Look at this: tonight it’s been snowing
for twenty years. You said our bodies must

shift into new forms, but you never showed me
how to live here: anywhere in America

my face would look the same as it does tonight.
The sky narrows into dawn, and the mountains

you wrote about have never been less visible.
Listen: birds disappear inside the bare, quiet trees.

I was arrogant, sure, but I still hear your voice,
that simple thunder in your throat. I imagined

snow growing from under the ground, but now
the winter’s half-dead already. Already,

morning arrives in the fists of American hail.
Today’s the kind of day I promise myself

I’ll quit drinking. That’s why I’m writing to you,
Jonathan: here is the one place for correction,

for a final conciliation. This is the only time
I can ask sincerely: have I been gone so long?

Tonight I sat at the bar late enough to find myself
wandering through gravel lots saying your name.

I know I have failed at even appropriate gratitude.
Look at this snow dissolving under streetlamps:

you don’t care how it got here and neither do I,
but we could pretend it’s still falling, the cornices

fulfilled, the long fields erased, and no sun,
no sense of where the end might be.


Derek’s poems have appeared in Portland Review, The Boiler, and Radar Poetry. His chapbook What the Dying Man Asked Me is available through ELJ Publications. He lives and works in Stillwater, OK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Snow on brush in desert

IMAGE CREDIT: Jill Katherine Chmelko. Protest Road, Winter. 2019.

🍋Our Tenth Anniversary


    Cheers to ten years of celebrating the short form.


🍋 Instagram

DS Levy's Micro Fiction takes us to "Babyland" where nothing is as you might expect it. The Citron Review Winter Issue overflows with surprises! DS Levy's chapbook of flash fiction, @a_binary_heart, was published by @flpbooks.
Congratulations to Citron's Online/Fiction Editor Jr Walsh for his recent publication in Nunum's Winter 2019 Volume 2, Issue 4! #flashfiction #fiction #briefliterature #amreading #SundayRead #jrwalsh #yourfavoriteactor
Can you talk with animals? "The Soldier on the Mountain" just might have to. Come hike this #flashfiction odyssey from @BlerianaMyftiu with us. Bleriana Myftiu is from Tirana, Albania. She holds an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University and is a Fiction Reader for @atticusreview. Visit
Our first poem of 2020 comes from Richard Foerster in our New Winter Issue. #amreading #poetry Foerster’s eighth collection is Boy on a Doorstep: New and Selected Poems (Tiger Bark Press, 2019)
Pacific Northwest writer @savannahslonewriter reminds us of our new year's resolutions in "i want to start a podcast but." Slone is the author of several books including the forthcoming An Exhalation of Dead Things (@clashbooks, 2021), Hearing the Underwater (@flpbooks, 2019) and This Body is My Own (@ghostcitypress, 2019)
Happy New Year to readers and contributors from @citronreview! Here's to 2020! Our Winter Issue is up at

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: