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Trace by Stephanie L. Harper


For Bob

In your morning pouring of coffee,

eggs whisked, peppers diced,

& pancetta browning; in the unsolidified

splatters you cleanse from the countertop;

in Pandora’s box of Edgar Meyer phenotypes

unseating the disquietude of our former lives;

in afternoon cappuccinos you pronounce in Italian

& in your full belly’s tranquil cogitations;

in your evening removal of socks & your feet’s relief;

& in your crescent smile’s light sheltering me—

with my kisses pressing away the decades’ trace

of iniquities from the courses I forge

toward the dimple of your left cheek—

is everywhere my home will be.

Stephanie L. Harper

Stephanie L. Harper is a recently transplanted Oregonian now living in Indianapolis, IN. Harper is the author of the chapbooks This Being Done and The Death’s-Head’s Testament. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Slippery Elm, The High Window (Featured American Poet), Panoply, Isacoustic*, Riggwelter Press, Literati Magazine, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Visit her online at


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