The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Sarah Ann Woodbury

My Blind Brother, Who Went Insane


“The birds are God,” he said. Laughing. He was Jesus. Somehow, it seems right—a man

who had never seen a bird, describing the incantations that way. Babblings. Like the

bells our mother hung on his door—the ones he’d feel for and shake too hard before


A smile. Unlike the unblind, he smiled only when actually happy.

Until we returned from backpacking in the Winds and heard the voicemail he left me:

“The birds aren’t God.” We found him; he was Einstein; he was on a cruise; he was

sweating; he was almost dead. Brain lost in bells.

                    fallen juniper berries
                    too many moons
                    for the soil



Sarah Ann Woodbury

The Stars are Stuffed with Far Too Many Words


I throw some stars in a pot
of boiling water
and watch them crack open,
screaming like clams,
as their innards tendril out
into thick, glittery,
writhing soup.

I let my hair down,
dance to the scraping,
their cankers releasing
all the names
who force-fed them
and dumped a pail
of old big ones on my porch.




SARAH ANN WOODBURY studies Environmental Studies at Utah State University, nestled against the Bear River Mountains. This is her first publication in a national review.



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