The Fort Jackson Dam Can Take No More, DICTIONASARUS, Roman Prelude #1

The Fort Jackson Dam Can Take No More
after Natasha Trethewey 

From the house on Fenwick Street,
     we watch the WLTX broadcast,
the women staring pixelated at us
     from their immaculate Swiss-design
studio as the images of homes sinking
     into water; palmetto trees with their fingers t
thrown up, dancing the Charleston,
     loop in reels. Our week off school:
a river where a road was; a dropoff
     mudslide where a road was; a lake
fit perfectly into the cul-de-sac
     of Cotton Hope Place. Cotton Hope:
halfway through the half-
     vacation week, I biked
through the road-rivers   homes with innards
     torn out,   my neighbor stood
there too, among the settees and bedposts
     and throw pillows of her house,
I stood there with her   as we took boxes of
     photographs out from the mounds
of her life,   flicked   photos apart like
     sticky notes,  let the graduation travel
photos curl around the edges as the mud ground
     reached to hug our feet.


after Franny Choi


Meaning life-beat; life-clock; skewed tesselating triangles; donʻt stop tiny time machine; to the future consciousness of constellations; ursa minors and libri on the street currency of fingers and thumbs
See also DMV paperwork; plastic pens; plastic electrodes; Walgreens Capitol; core; me; any synonym of NRA; disguising; disgusted SMS text messages; sophomore year; street; sign pebbles; stars; cycle of tide waves; cotton; breeze
Antonym earthcore metal; filaments of spirit bougainvillea my synapses granite
Origin what are we to say; of what cannot be said; the first rapid-fire; by Gatling; but the real rapid origin is in the marrow see: HEART ephemerality; in dreams; agree; wish on dandelions
Dreams of being dust undone actualized; realized; monetized; commercialized you

Roman Prelude #1

When we were under a sheepskin blanket,
watching the football championship—the
nationals—flick by on TV, imagining
if we took the Martinelli, poured libations
out from its mouth, you told me that
reality is people believing
same illusions. Elude delude prelude
to this PDF file of trifles,
JPEG for sending sonograms across the
interweb to all the love-lost people
out there, are the soundwaves ripples of my
stola oversized t-shirt– really
the illusion for you? Mutual bene
pro bono, as the Clemson quarterback
rounds the plastic sterile airpainted field,
I think that Iʻd like to unwave my
stola, inspect your alabaster crags
of a face like a museum sculpture, see
if your lips are cells or dust & illusion.

Charlotte Hughes is a high school junior in Columbia, SC. She has attended the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities summer programs. She is an editor for Polyphony Lit and The Haloscope Review, and you can find her poems in The Louisville Review, Buddy, and The Ekphrastic Review.