When they asked she told them in hot whispers,
breath of fire engine red, coals on the tip of her tongue,
into their ears she said, he was nobody,

but that wasn’t true. The man who stared
at his own hands thunderstruck, as if they belonged
to another, whose palms were lined with vermillion,

two short bleeding lifelines, was actually the only
one she ever kissed and would ever kiss again.
The man who twiddled fat thumbs in buses,

who haunted train stations with his uncanny
whistle, seated by a dark window, insignia on
his wrists—stars, crosses, sipping from a small

flask, looking worn down by anonymity, felt like
a bullet hole in the universe. He seemed on the verge
of extinction as she ruthlessly denied him.






Julie Eliopoulos spends her days teaching and some inspired evenings writing. Her poetry has appeared in CV2, EVENT, The Fiddlehead, Grain, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, The Puritan, Room and Vallum.


To view other content published in this issue, 11:1 “Thresholds”, please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.