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You seek an urn
I can tell before you even
Head to that part of my shop
And as always
I can’t resist the urge to reach
For your sorrow—or lack thereof
To determine
What kind of pottery
Would suit you best
Terracotta for a lifelong love
Porcelain for a love that was yet new
Raku for a tumultuous union
Pit-fired for an arranged marriage
That somehow proved to be a love match
But no—this is no unexpected loss
The dearly departed died by your hands
I’d offer black raku
But I feel this was no crime of passion
You planned it
The same way I planned the intricate
Carvings of my chattered pieces
And there—my gift never lies
You’re drawn to the gouged slip
As surely as a cat is to catnip
Fortunately for you I am but a potter
And not a detective
As I ring you up, I whisper softly
“Your secret's safe with me”

Gerri Leen is a Pushcart- and Rhysling-nominated poet from Northern Virginia who's into horse racing, tea, collecting encaustic art and raku pottery, and making weird one-pan meals. She has poetry published or accepted by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dark Matter, Dreams & Nightmares, Liquid Imagination,, and others. Visit to see what she's been up to.
Current Issue
2 Oct 2023

How did we end up so far east, on the flanks of a cold beach? You told me you always wanted to see the Pelagio, ever since you were a child. But your skin was never made for water. You shouldn’t have ever learned to swim.
look through the soap, the suds, the sopping wet clothes
as she leaves mortality behind / She always returns to me
Wednesday: Infinite Constellations: An Anthology of Identity, Culture, and Speculative Conjunctions edited by by Khadijah Queen and K. Ibura 
Friday: The Moonlight Blade by Tessa Barbosa 
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