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Double portrait

Lauren Hilger


It’s her, 

my father says, 

of his mother, 
but to some extent it’s me, I’m the echo. 

Vines of shit grow around you— 
he shapes his hands like the marble 
of a god fighting—and that is you, 

what holds the thing together. 

A bow that’s snapped with time? 


We zoom in at the expense of the whole,  
to see a garnet set in silver, 
a color that stays.


Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM, 2016) and Morality Play, selected for The Possession Sound Reading Series from Poetry NW Editions and will be published Spring 2022. Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from MacDowell, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in BOMB, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens. For more, please see

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