Have you ever cried
while outside on the most
humid of early September eves?


tears unifying with
warm and clingy mist
__minute and conquering

I’m sorry that I came.

I should have slept and dreamt instead.
relief enclosed and quickened
hazy and probable to some one
__if not me

But instead, I took it upon myself to

I had to

It’s just me breathing in what’s left of it all.
asbestos like overactive emotion cited by the lone and

Should have known and expected it.

But then, you can’t very well stop yourself
once you begin


and in all
moist and suffocating September nights
are the only comfort or complement


STEPHANI E. D. McDOW is a nonprofit director in Washington, D.C. A native Washingtonian and graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Stephani began writing during her primary years, and her work has won local contests and published in some unknown anthologies. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree in Humanities and English, Stephani continued to pursue her passion for writing as a contributing author to an online publication, and freelance writer, while she worked to develop her career in the nonprofit sector. She is presently working on completing her first novel as well as building a collection of poetry and short stories.