Photo courtesy of Rachel Kertz

I used to think that leaving you would feel

like praying to a broken compass,

night falling quiet and cold on the ocean,

but I realize now you meant this from the

beginning, you pointed north and

you kissed me, south and you winked, east

and a hand in my lap, west and a thumb war

in bed, and finally you left

me a working knowledge of stars

and directions, a useless map in the daytime,

pretty lights to draw on at night.




Arielle TragerArielle Trager is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University and a future high school educator. She was coach of Wesleyan’s 2014 Inter-Collegiate Slam Poetry Team, has performed at regional poetry slams in the northeast, and was featured at the Bang Said the Gun Poetry Show in London. Her work also appears in Bitterzoet Magazine.



Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work here:

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