Arlyn LaBelle

In the moment before now we wait

for the song to end.
We have a bag by the door;
clothes, papers, pills.
We clutch a note in our breath,
chins raised to meet it.

How I wish there was no time
to see thoughts in your hand;
a locket close, to have this moment
unbound, a sheet on our past
like snow from a cottonwood,
but it is now. The note full
in our throats, hot

Even as it goes we know
a year from now, we
will feel its echo ringing.

Arlyn LaBelle is a queer poet and writer living in Austin, Texas. Their work has appeared in the Badgerdog summer anthologies as well as North of Oxford, The Oddville Press, Songs of Eretz, Grey Sparrow Press, Cease, Cows, Panoply Zine and The Southern Poetry Review. Their premiere book of poetry, Measurable Terms, is available through The Main Street Rag. You can find more of them and their work at