Touch: The Journal of Healing


Editor’s Choice


What Poets Do

    by Larina Warnock

Once a poet, always a poem secretly

in love with suffering

souls, fools, and pastel politics.

I am drowning

dreams in paper lace because that's what poets do.

By night, I trick my body into believing

it is warm by laying the corner of my comforter

across my feet, cover the rest of my body with cotton

sheets as thin as paper promises.

By day, I trick my heart into believing

it is cold by leaving it

completely exposed

to air as this, as paper memories.

In the meantime, I tire

of tricking myself into believing

there is anything beautiful about suffering.

I try on new words--

go to hell cheeky son of a bitch bastard fuck you--

smother myself in armor as this

as pulp still pushing through the paper mill

because damn it all that's what poets do.

The world unravels ream after ream.

© 2014  Larina Warnock

Larina Warnock is a mother, wife, teacher, and writer who believes strongly in the power of forward motion, advocacy, and reaching out. Her work has appeared in The Oregonian, Poet's Market, Space & Time Magazine, and others, as well as in Touch: The Journal of Healing. Her chapbook, Guitar Without Strings, is available from The Lives You Touch Publications. You can follow her at and

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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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