It’s stunning here. Ptown is a gift and a distraction. Meena, the staff, the fellows – a gift! This poem is from our first assignment that went something like this: find an object to sketch, touch/feel/sketch it, write an associative response to the sketch, then write a poem based on the response that also incorporates childhood.


I Can’t Tell You Childhood.

Etch a field that needs me.
Touch the center,

the partial, the parental.
The predictable loneliness

of a child is the migration
of a flounder’s clockwise eye,

an adaptation, the way a herd
pummels landscape,

the dust cloud, its drift.


Flounders, like other fish, hatch with one eye on each side of their head. Movement of the right eye to the left side occurs during the metamorphosis from larvae to juvenile. Amanda Lichtenberg is not a fish. She lives in Jackson Heights, NY.