by Theresa Senato Edwards

Reach beyond the ribs,
close to heartbreak, smooth
the fire in the sockets,
weld fingertips to trees.

Talk to chalky clouds, clench
the strand of night tied to your jaw,
as if skeleton were prayer music.

Theresa Senato Edwards’ poetry books include Voices Through Skin, Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011, and Painting Czeslawa Kwoka ~ Honoring Children of the Holocaust, a full-color collaboration with Painter, Lori Schreiner, unbound CONTENT, April 2012. Edwards teaches and tutors at Marist College, is a scholar-facilitator for the NY Council for the Humanities, is founder of Holly Rose Review (now archived online), and blogs at TACSE creations.

In our discussions regarding the final appearance of this poem, you wrote, “And I’m glad that you didn’t ask me to delete ‘your’ in the sixth line. We need some connection to something other, something beyond the steps.” Can you explain more about that idea of connection?

Hmm…well the connection is what I had mentioned previously, the act of joining between something “divine” like God and someone else: someone not godlike but meticulous, strong in belief and/or action. The poem shares “steps” to arrive at this connection. It’s somewhat visceral but surreal, like the images, kind of where thoughts end up when the human mind and spirit connect to a higher power within prayer, meditation, witness, or any other form of sincere approach.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle