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by Dante Di Stefano

It was like those hours you spent with your daughter when she was learning to speak but couldn’t quite yet stutter out more than a string of sweet “dadas” and “mamas.” This is Eden, my Eve: the wobble of a toddler’s walk, the way she points at a blackbird on the powerlines out the window, the way she collapses onto your chest when she’s ready to nap. I would hold all this love in so much unsaying. It was like that, and when it was, you knew it never would be again. Our first words are always: “The End.”

Dante Di Stefano


Dante Di Stefano is the author of Ill Angels (Etruscan Press, 2019) and Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Best American Poetry 2018, Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner, The Writer’s Chronicle, and elsewhere.). Along with María Isabel Álvarez, he co-edited the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America (NYQ Books, 2018). He holds a PhD in English Literature from Binghamton University and is the poetry editor for DIALOGIST.

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— Jacob Collins-Wilson

“We parked in front and I heard the music, felt the bass and my dad got out and told me and my mom to wait and I knew those kids were in trouble because that music was too loud and they better hope there aren’t any cuss words because my dad barged in when I was taking a shower and took my Slipknot CD because it cussed.”

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