Unnecessary Qualifiers
by Emma DePanise

Runestone, volume 4

“The cup is only being filled for the chance to have it spilled”
-Robert Pollard

We may not do
extravagant things but,
Mom says, packing onion
dip, deli meat, splotchy
wine glasses into a picnic

basket. Down the road
in our hubcapless van, we merge
blanket to Chesapeake sand. Leave
Nike prints, dodge horseshoe
crab corpses, translucent sea-

nettles, Ziploc bags. Throw
arms up, invite
brisk air to balloon
sweatshirts. Signs
of civilization (porta-potties,

highway traffic, Kent
Narrows Bridge) disappear
like oysters. I hide
in sea oats behind a wind-
born ledge. You find me,

we dance in circles, tides
cold-seep your shoes. We never
care when Mom says, Not that
we aren’t going
places, we still are.


Salisbury University

Emma DePanise is a student at Salisbury University studying creative writing. Her work has appeared in Little Patuxent Review, Route 7 Review, Mochila Review, and elsewhere. 

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