Still Lifes and Landscapes


Morning in the mountains. I am going down home

early. The road empty, wide, smooth as my hand.

Sun streams heavy bays of light. If I could remember one

use of beauty, the persistent type, on whole unhuman,

so much more space made for possible peace. This is the sort

of road you shouldn’t take your eyes off—blinding granite,

layered white sky. Take an image of sunshine, citizenry,

taxes being paid. The heart grows brutal with things

disguised as themselves. Morning in mountains.

I am going down. More space made for peace of

mind, might make it more deadly. Morning bays

of light. My hand, palm-side out, shields my eyes.

I believe there are still people waiting for me. Pines

blanket the mountain face—intractable, unfit, untrue.


Emily Wolahan is the author of Hinge (The National Poetry Review Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Volt, Fourteen Hills, and others, and her essays have been published in the New Inquiry and anthologized in Among Margins: Critical and Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics. She is associate editor at Two Lines Press and a founding editor at JERRY Magazine. She lives in San Francisco, where she is a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.