The Bedside Book of Chill

Like a mermaid’s nipple denied

        the sea’s lesser chill,
        we harden.

        We tighten up.

The fragile process of acknowledging
        the wind

        finds us once again
        wishing for overcoats,

        tired of fireside chats
        and other historical broadcasts

        but lacking the skills to build
        a fire, lacking the wire

        to mend a jaw.

All they seem to do is talk
        in this new place,

        their faces shut down
        like highways where trucks
        have overturned.

This is a shiver that burns,
         a word that flickers,

         a bare-chested lie
         that goes unchallenged
         for now.


Projected Letters is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best new and established writing from around the world.


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List ( Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.