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D. S. Waldman


And each nail, as

promised, when pried

from the back wall of

the wooden shed into

which they had, over

the years, one by

one, been driven,

left a hole: what

long after memory

remains of what

was said and how

it felt.  I have thought,

since, of the hammer and,

holding the hammer,

the hand—that

the doing and un-

doing were, themselves,

less a sort of gesture

than a distraction:

what, in the story, goes

unsaid.  Yes, the nails,

the shed.  A man

whose holiness lies,

like all holiness,

in ritual.  But to whom

or what, with a handful

of nails, does the man

return?  At what

point is a hole no

more than a place

where something used

to be?  The house

was dark, save for

the pilot light, a pale

and steadfast blue

which, from across

the yard, he followed.

Dan Waldman.jpg



D.S. Waldman is a writer living on Kumeyaay land in San Diego, California, where he teaches creative writing. His work has most recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Poetry Northwest, Copper Nickel, 32 Poems, New Letters, Diode, Poetry International, Los Angeles Review and Sugar House Review. He holds a BA from Middlebury College and is currently enrolled in the MFA program at San Diego State University. Learn more at

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