Thursday Nov 30

BernheimErica Erica Bernheim grew up in Ohio and Italy. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Florida Southern College, where she directs the creative writing program. Her first full-length collection, The Mimic Sea, was published by 42 Miles Press (Indiana University, South Bend) in 2012. She is also the author of a chapbook, Between the Room and the City (H_NGM_N B__KS, 2007). Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, the Iowa Review, and Cutbank.

This Side Towards Threat                                                                                                     

We all know time passes differently at night,
hours and minutes cheshire into segments

of regret: to have left one’s headphones on,
politeness theory, how similar “I’ll embrace

it” and “I’m crazy” sound when mumbled.
You will sleep on the floor so long, you’ll

think you prefer it. The instructions on this
glass sheet should give you comfort. The

expected level of threat meets the in-
appropriate action. Our hearts may be

trying to crawl into each other’s chests,
but why not, if it is only to break them.


Someone says a wall this beautiful
must come at a terrible price. Let’s
narrow it down to which problem is
the most lovely: fire codes and high

rises, useless spaces to build and fill
with stories I will write about murders
and houses. There are more civilized
ways to do this: the plan to dig for

three days, to recover the bones.
They turn out to be deer. All you
need to prove something happened
in Iowa is a photo of a cornfield, yet

it is a given that it is not possible.
We are not satisfied by this longing.

Murder in Sebring

Those in love inexplicably
stay in love. Your new boss
is saying something new in this
new language of today’s familiar.

Your smokehouse dream begins
with ginger. Even the piano
movers became suspicious.
No one was home. You could

tell the killer was unexpected
from how messy the house was
in photos later: magazines spit
from their casings, piles from

the dining room to the back
of clippings: the glass frog, the
cries it makes that can only be
heard by another frog of the same

kind, the amplexus of twelve days,
the visible heart and coil of viscera,
the prince has returned amphibious,
starving, but not yet unkind. What he

has told his wife you are depends
on what he has told you he is. You
may become a tractor-trailer in need
of repair, a research project with

surprising potential, an exhibit of
sturgeon from around the globe, rain
delays that turn to hail or ice, flights
cancelled, one time in Sebring, a hitch-

hiker and a false alarm, followed by
a trip to North Carolina: two days in
the mountains and two at the beach,
a traffic jam of horseshoe crabs each day.