Chelsey Weber-Smith

Ars Poetica

Do any of us remember when it came
like a cloud passing in front of the sun?
It was a soft shock, a small dark change,
it had us wondering, is it just another cloud
passing in front of the sun? Or is it something else?
Do we remember when we believed in UFOs
and saw them from our sleeping bags
next to a boy who would be our best friend
for the rest of our lives? And they were satellites,
of course, we learned that later, but still the boy told us
about the beautiful ghost he saw in the doorway
of the house he moved into after his parents died,
how it floated, creamy and silent outside the room
his uncle gave him at the top of the stairs.
Do we remember the pool in the back of the house,
how it had turned into a green pond, and we saw big frogs jump
and heard them at night? The mosquito larvae sitting perfectly still
on the surface and then spinning down into the dark
when we rippled the water. The boy telling us another story:
how, watching the fawn through a window when it fell
into water, he jumped down the stairs five by five and then into the pool.
He held the fawn tight against his chest while it thrashed
and with one arm pulling at the concrete, he brought it out of the water.
Do we remember if the fawn lived or died? I don’t.
I don’t remember if it was another death.
I do remember imagining his wet hair, a heroic streak down his temple.
The moonlight. How he told the story. Like it happened every day.


Chelsey Weber-Smith is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s MFA program in poetry. She also writes country music and rambles around the United States. She has written and self-published two chapbooks, a travel memoir, and two full-length folk/country albums, and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been published in Transom, Matter, the James Franco Review, and Miracle Monocle, and is forthcoming in BOAAT. She currently lives in Seattle.

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