Maggie Rue Hess

A Sonnet, Because I Didn’t Want to Say, “I Already Knew”

I stood in an evening-scrubbed field. Fireflies blinked

through the eyes of every summer I didn’t

share with someone I missed. There was a fence,

two dark lines and the suggestion of breaching.

When I felt the suggestion of closeness. I birthed

a question. She answered, her mouth a line of darkness.

I let her untruth me across the distance.

Her voice was every summer we didn’t share,

which was every summer. In between the seasons

lies the same field. What is truth. A blink in the evening

rather than a wall of light. I forgive the distance necessary

to breach the unvoiced. When we saw the fence was

no wall, only darkness breaching, she said, “I lied to you,”

and I told her, “It’s still a season for fireflies”


what heat

teeth disguised as pearls to necklace his throat, a tender

nest of promises humming response to me / to me

the verse & vice, written in summer sweat & ripened over distance,

yes, horizon – the furthest thing from her is the brightest desire –

she would thread her name with silk but I would stain /

I would char, smoke-sweet linger – less campfire,

more arson: what heat / what heat gains its fingertips from words

the way he does, palming my lines / lines are made to be bolded &

envelopes made to be licked – yes, I know that tongue and it me / me / me / men

are so easy to read, but they like how it feels &

he is no exception


Maggie Rue Hess (she/her) is a graduate student and former high school English teacher living in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her partner and their two pups. Her work has appeared in Rattle, Minnesota Review, Connecticut River Review, Backchannels Journal, and other publications. She is currently (re)learning how to roller skate.

Recent Posts

See All

Vots de casament I hear a woman yell but she’s a bitch! She’s a bitch. I sit on the red sofas of the Monarch bar, again, a beer. La más barata, por favor. Brindo por mis tías. Many alcohólicos en mi f

THE ROAD HOME The road home is full of dusts, on your way back you would learn to take Those classes you fled from, lessons of patience, how to marry the chaos softly, How little could mean bounty som

how to banish a ghost ritual is just another name for the habits grief carves from a mourner’s tongue. you empty your mouth until you’re a rabid song knee-sunk in your mother’s garden. prayers a rift