days without coffee
golden and gripping
in the wake of nights late with talking

mist makes morning matter
hills flatter, fatter,
blurs the background like a photograph where you, only you mattered

days of should and shouting, doubting
the grass that should not be blue
the sky that should not be red

bed the only safe space
floating, folding, holding
pillows like life vests pressed lace that patterns your chest

days that saturate, satiate, breed
desire, need, time elegant, elastic, experienced
the sun, delirious

steam rises where crickets dance,
the light fantastic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #39: Last Sentences, which required that the last sentence in the text must be used as given. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.



Stephanie K. Brownell is an interdisciplinary writer, artist and educator based in Boston. Stephanie was a 2018 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. She is also an alumna of residencies and fellowships nationwide including Ensemble Studio Theatre’s New York Theatre Intensives, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Kennedy Center Fellows, Taleamor Park Residency, and Company One PlayLab. Stephanie is the recipient of the 2015 National Partners of the American Theatre Excellence in Playwriting Award and runner up for WomenWorks 2015 for her nonlinear drama She Eats Apples. Her poem-play Eskimo Pie was a 2014 finalist for the Gary Garrison 10-Minute Play Award and her fiction is published in the collaborative novel Esyld’s Awakening from CW Publishing. Stephanie teaches writing at Bentley University and GrubStreet Writing Community. BA: Carroll University. MFA: Boston University. Visit her website.




By George Franklin / 11/29/2018

Mr. Milfred Morganstone Sends His Regrets

By Susan Baller-Shepard / 12/03/2018

Office Cauldrons

By Paul O'Connor / 11/12/2018

Lint, Dust and Hair

By Gregory Loselle / 12/06/2018


By Stewart Massad / 12/06/2018