Carol Quinn

      The Graal technique was developed in Sweden in 1916: the
      initial bubble of glass is overlaid with different layers
      of crystal glass, coloured or clear depending on
      the outcome of the desired and planned design.

                                  —Ola Höglund and Marie Simberg-Höglund

There are waves

that reach us and waves that we

send out. Layers coalesce

like the rings of trees, mother

of pearl.

               Its first form is called

a gather (though it only smolders

to itself). To shape it,

you will need a potter’s patience

and a welder’s sense

of urgency.

                     The object is becoming

That which, at our lips, might heal us—

but if you act too soon,

your work will sag

under its own burning



and it will shatter in the cold.

Some compare this substance to

the mist that rises from new graves

in that country.

                          When day returns,

you can’t take back your breath.

Carol Quinn received her doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Houston in 2005, where she was also the recipient of C. Glenn Cambor and Donald Barthelme Fellowships in Creative Writing. She also holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Southern California. Her poetry has appeared in Pleiades, River Styx, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, The American Literary Review, The National Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her essays and reviews have been published in The Emily Dickinson Journal, the American Book Review, Pleiades, The Missouri Review, and other journals. She is a lecturer in English at Towson University in Maryland. "Graal" is a 2008 Anderbo Poetry Prize Poem of Distinction.

  fiction    poetry    "fact"    photography
masthead      guidelines