an online literary magazine for extra pungent poetry and prose

Justin Evans

The Thought of Something Else
after Brian Turner

Thirty years after a war that wasn’t
really a war, I slowly thumb through

a book of poems by Wendell Berry
I bought from an online thrift store,

the pages so crisp I know not one
single person ever committed the sin of

opening it up and reading.
My mother is the desert. Her dry

wine stained lips whisper while I
try to ignore my thirst. It’s true.

Among my many births I count war
and like my first birth, I cannot remember

everything, but it was an emergence―
cesarean and swift. It’s the rest of my life

that lingers like tiny shards of weeds
I cannot find the strength to eradicate.

Justin Evans was born and raised in Utah. He served in the army and then graduated from Southern Utah University and later the University of Nevada, Reno. He lives in rural Nevada with his wife and sons, where he teaches at the local high school. Justin’s seventh full-length book of poetry, Cenotaph, is being released in March of 2024 from Kelsay Books. He has poems forthcoming from The Meadow, and Weber: The Contemporary West. Justin has twice received Artist Fellowship Grants from the State of Nevada.