Shenandoah Volume 68, Number 1
Volume 68, Number 1 · Fall 2018

Exothermic Reactions


The men who have too much in their garages

will disregard your wrapping-papered gift.

Eventually the only way to feel

the present is hot air balloon, is flight

or speed, the racetrack thrust. That other life

in which—just momentarily—he is

the stuntman for himself, vicarious.


She said the right voice could run a lit fuse

across her body, up her leg, and through

her knotted guts. This voice. She had enough

ex-husbands for the both of us and I

have found the sweet spot: acne and gray hairs,

my own. Try all the lines—the secret is

the shapes your mouth, your lips, make when you speak.

Alicia Mountain is the author of the collection High Ground Coward (University of Iowa Press), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Thin Fire (BOAAT Press). She is a lesbian poet, critic, and educator based in Denver and New York. Keep up with her @HiGroundCoward.