Elisabeth Reidy Denison

Elisabeth Reidy Denison is a writer and editor from Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in Thrush, Bodega, Comparative Literature Undergraduate Journal, and elsewhere.


denison.elisabeth (


To Budapest

Of everything? Mostly your face windowed

on the train south from Prague.

Slavic folk forest with stopped waterfall a prelude

to sudden Slavic flatlands, farmland once and now

again, presumably, farmland.


Black line of a broken wire fence tripping

over the whiteout ground, which kept on

expanding like a spill toward every corner.

And all about us, wedged in our seats,

the McDonald’s detritus of our American rush.


Winter, so the afternoon went fast.

We had been talking earlier

about our grandmothers, or we were

about to, or that was another trip,

different January—


Of everything, the flashbulb brightening

of your face when you turned toward me

for the first time all hour: this close

to your party face, your HELLO

face, its underside. It, ambushed.


And your hair also was reflected in the glass.

Palimpsest with dormant grass. Back to the land,

et cetera. Or: left there. It may have been snowing

behind you, too. It was actually pretty

difficult to tell.



Between the Reckless Immediate and the Very Many Pasts

I love you all hopped up

on cigarettes and Club-Mate, madly

running from church

steps to church steps,

trying to stay out longer

than the rest of us,

out front of the day,

consulting no one

but the spires in the morning.

I understand

we don’t live in cathedrals

and we don’t live in Alexanderplatz.

Tense of heart in our

floppy sneaks, our excess

fabric, I understand none of us

imagined being so teased by a city.

All week you’ve been teaching me

to do a useful thing proficiently.

The tops of my hands are

bleeding again from trying,

and I just let them. I love the runoff.