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Image by Touann Gatouillat Vergos


the madrigal, volume iii.v


by taylor hamann los

I remember wood smoke & whitetail,
bluegill still swimming under a frozen lake
as if searching for a sort of redemption.
All I want to ask you is how to clean a fish
with this dull knife, how to cook and eat
the translucent-pink sheets floating in the bowl.


I remember the sun like a bowl, the summer
my father & grandfather cut down pines
in the forest. I imagine them with a crosscut saw,
sweat & muscle, bark & splinter, song of breath
& birds. All I want to ask you is how the other trees
stayed standing when the snow came.


Grandmother, I remember the snow,
can imagine the red & white of ambulance
lights. But all I want to ask you is how
to be winter—how to tuck my legs under me,
& pretend they are the fish & I am the lake.

Taylor Hamann Los holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently an MFA student at Lindenwood University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Split Rock Review, Rust + Moth, perhappened, and others. She lives with her husband and two kittens in Wisconsin. You can find her on Twitter (@taylorhamannlos) or online (

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