Janet Biehl

Taylor Byas

When I say that water

gives us away, 

this is what I mean—


that I can trace your years

through the dried

runnels and splotches.


Your most tender days,

when the street artist

dappled your embrace


with old watercolors and

alley-water, the yellow

of the corner’s lamppost


light browning at the edges

like toast. And ten

years later, when your grandchild


pressed spit into the red

of the night, 

deepening the dye cradling


your husband’s head. And last

year, when your tears

rewet his suit jacket, drops


cauliflowered out to blue-grey

bursts, just like his

cancer in its final stages.


When I say that water

gives us away, 

this is what I mean—


that like pain, it dries and

becomes wet again,

leaves one mark, and then another.


Janet Biehl sketches people who are engaged with something or someone outside themselves. She uses pen and ink with playful watercolor washes.

See more of Janet's work here in Issue IV

Taylor is a 23 year old Chicago native currently living in Birmingham, Alabama. She received a Bachelor's Degree with Honors in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is currently completing a Masters in English, Creative Writing. She will go on to begin her PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati in the Fall.