← Issue 2

Something in the Water

by Kristin LaFollette

I look joyful only because
I can’t change the way
my face looks—

I don’t know how to be
both present and hopeful—
Once, as a young woman,
I saw God in a handprint
stamped on a sheet of paper
in green paint

Someone wrote He smells good
underneath and I prayed for
more days to take in salt
from water, to hold my
arms close to my chest,

to write on paper when
the right words come
to me— 

Now, my thoughts are
yellow and I think I can
shift them if I try harder,
listen more, open my hands
and gather sun from the sky 

It only feels reasonable for
me to say this:

Forgive me, I don’t know
how to be present and hopeful
at the same time—


Kristin LaFollette graduated with a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing program at Bowling Green State University this May. She is a writer, artist, and photographer and is the author of the chapbook, Body Parts (GFT Press, 2018). You can visit her on Twitter at @k_lafollette03 or on her website at kristinlafollette.com.

The Roadrunner Review nominated “Something in the Water” for a 2019 Best of the Net Award.