Collage The Handmaid's Tale by Samantha Derendal

Hannah Bernhard

Ephemera (n):
things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time


Less than there

or there in a time-lock

or there to be forgotten and later

found in the suitcase, under piles

of itself, holding on to its blued meaning

A valentine among poster cut-outs, never

meant to be unearthed plucked out

dusted for oil of

I once loved you

or I wish you had moved with me

or I know you won’t throw me out


Are tears ephemera, drying up as they do after every crooked bone, shorn heart? Is my

heart ephemera, willing to serve a second purpose, or a first purpose in a second body,

indicated only by that unassuming red blot on my driver’s license? The body must be

ephemera—object incapable of holding onto itself, constantly spilling out

into the world, condensing and evaporating. Constantly drying up and breaking down.


Decomposition is acknowledging that you

will never be a time-capsule


Hannah Bernhard– poet and hopeful book artist–recently graduated from Smith College with a BA in English and a concentration in poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Labrys, Quick Brown Fox, and Meat for Tea. At Smith, Hannah was awarded both the Ethel Olin Corbin and Rosemary Thomas poetry prizes. She currently works as a program advisor at World internships in Northampton, MA, where she lives with a handful of roommates, two small pets, and a hell of a lot of plants.