Poor Claudia published poetry, prose and conversations online and in print from 2009 to 2018.

Lillian Nickerson

Four Poems

  • Swell
  • So real it can't be
  • The man who sells the moon
  • On/Off


rivers in Florida are big enough I can put my mouth in one and forget

I am a body when the tropics grew up from the swamps it sounded like

the dead rev of an outboard motor most palm trees must have been

born tall like me at the end of Jackson Landing palm fronds forget

to cling to rope-swings teenagers drop off like lemons

and young coconuts they stagger to the surface swallow silt even the silt tastes

like water and that is the river’s favorite trick

So real it can't be

It is sad when you are looking at the ocean

and you think the ocean is so beautiful

it looks like a light-box wall-hanging of the ocean

I once saw in a Chinese restaurant in Flushing.

The man who sells the moon

When I dreamed my father

out of moon dust

he spoke in Douglas Fir

He was a talented creature

whose voice wove through walls

and brought a storm with it

When he explained moon cycles

there was never gravity

The tide was what came with us

What left us with a road

to everywhere

He could carve a bust from a

broken chair

Fathers are the men who do

everything until they can’t

do the one thing

to make the world

feel honest

When the sea had arms

they were my father’s

the water was freckled hazel

the fish were plentiful and hungry

for bait


After all the wolves died

there ceased to be a moon.

A light with no sound

was not a moon, just a light.

A fire was not a moon, just bright heat.

After the moon disappeared

what use was the Sun.

I burned my back in bed,

freckled in windowless rooms.

Water tasted better

when is hadn’t rained.

When the whole planet was dark.

When sound stopped traveling.

Once, I was afraid

the light in me wouldn’t fit

the light in you.

Then I couldn’t find my way

from the closet to the front door.

From the front door to the mailbox.

No one was bringing the mail.

No one was dragging the sky to my doorstep.

It was already there.

The whole expanse of the universe

and the lights not coming on.

The dark like a backwards fall

and no one squeezing my hand.

Lillian Nickerson

Lillian Nickerson is a writer who lives in Seattle with her small dog and tall boyfriend.