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i fall down roan mountain, again

Adelina Rose Gowans

anyway, i get back up

while the trees, smelling

heavy of birth and crown

shyness, sway over us.

reluctantly press my

palms into bloodknees.

wish for scratch marks over

scar tissue: miracle feed.

overhead, the blackbirds

sweet talk blackbirds—

and my mother’s legs

turn/return limitless over

the bald. vessels of hope

x1,000 steps. she tells

me how mountain rain

never pulls its punches.

nonetheless, we brush

our knuckles against

rhododendron, and down

the trail a man on horse-

back is popping the top

off a beer bottle. like

every good mountain,

i’m slowly splitting

apart—hairline and

heavengrove inevitable.

still, we stop for granola

bars, fix our eyes up to

the cloud cover. behind

it, the first afternoon star

puts a splint on its knee.

About the Author

Adelina Rose Gowans grew up in rural South Carolina and is currently a freshman at the Savannah College of Art and Design studying writing and animation. A two-time Best of the Net nominee, her work has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the Poetry Society of England. She is published or forthcoming in over twenty literary journals, including Ambit Magazine, Barely South Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. More of her personal projects can be found on

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