Karen Corinne Herceg


The dead have taught me
that I am alive through them,
in their dust I inhale,
in the water that seeps through the soil
and reaches my throat.
They brush by me in gusts of wind,
speak to me in ancient tongues,
and in their silence.
They seem more present now
than when they were in bodies,
for being everywhere
and nowhere.
Are they still real?
How gone are they?
What difference…
those beneath the earth,
those above still plotting.

Night Vision

Some men lace in
on you like
a long trumpet note
in an igneous grey three AM
club cloud
beyond the fourth bourbon,
gauze in your eyes
toothy glints of promise
canceling danger.
You ride it
like a surfer
on dusty shafts
before light arrives
slanting in subtly
between slats
in the blinds
breaking up
night vision
now caught in
that dry space
between the tongue
and hope.

Karen Corinne Herceg graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Literature/Writing. She co-featured at The N.Y. Public Library, The Queens Museum, The Provincetown Playhouse, and other venues before moving to France in 2019. Out From Calaboose is her latest book of poems. karencorinneherceg.com