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Ari Lohr

Essay On Coming Back Home

I once pressed a sharpie into my palm with such force
it took three days to wash out. I left everything behind,
and went east along an unpaved road
with no end
and found that I had gone nowhere,
and that nothing had changed
except the color of the trees
and the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet.
So yes – I know – I’m chipping away at a mountain.
But once I watched an eclipse with the family
I didn't choose, and for some reason
everything was alive, and made sense
in the shadow of the dancing sun and moon:
a tiny, shimmering ink blot in the sky.
So when I say things are different now,
what I really mean is that, no, nothing
has really changed, but
with enough impatience
anything can last forever,
and once
I ran my hand along his naked side and stopped
at each rib to pray,
and sometimes – if the timing’s right –
the word God escapes my mouth,
and it’s not faith
or even love that causes this.
No, it is nothing. Nothing at all
except what is:
The light
darkened by a brighter light.

Ari Lohr is a queer poet and English Education major at Boston University. Xe is a Brave New Voices semifinalist, Slamlandia finalist, Portland Poetry Slam champion, and a 2021 Best of the Net nominee. Focusing on the mystical intersections between power, sexuality, and identity, Ari’s poetry appears in the Northern Otter Press, Opia Lit, and more. They are the author of EJAY., a confessional love letter / poetry chapbook, and Gravity, their debut full-length with Gutslut Press. They are also the managing editor of the Bitter Fruit Review and the editor-in-chief of the Jupiter Review. Xe believes truth is malleable, professionalism is violence, and arrogance is sexy. Ari can be found at, or @arilohr on twitter and instagram.

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