In circumstances of love,I am abject; myhusband insists hemust be abject: I left.Tourists and horseshoecrabs converge on the beach.The tourists clapwhen the crabs mate.I am abject. The sunwatches us watch the crabs.Wan, disapproving spousal gaze!By instinct—one I mustdevelop—some womenhave known not to marry.
Copyright © 2023 by Esther Lin.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily by permission.
Esther Lin was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in the United States as an undocumented immigrant for 21 years. Her book Cold Thief Place is the winner of the 2023 Alice James Award, forthcoming in March 2025. She is also the author of The Ghost Wife (PSA 2018). Most recently, she was an artist-resident at the T. S. Eliot House and Cité Internationale, Paris. She was a 2019–20 Writing Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown; a 2017–19 Wallace Stegner Fellow. Currently she co-organizes the Undocupoets, which promotes the work of undocumented poets and raises consciousness about the structural barriers they face in the literary community.
The Gettysburg Review, published by Gettysburg College, is recognized as one of the country’s premier literary journals. Since its debut in 1988, work by such luminaries as E. L. Doctorow, Rita Dove, James Tate, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, and Donald Hall has appeared alongside that of emerging artists such as Christopher Coake, Holly Goddard Jones, Kyle Minor, Ginger Strand, and Charles Yu.
More than one-hundred short stories, poems, and essays first published in The Gettysburg Review have been reprinted in the various prize anthologies—The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, The Best American Poetry, Essays, Mystery Stories, and Short Stories, New Stories from the South, as well as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards—or have reappeared in such esteemed publications as Harper’s. In addition, The Gettysburg Review’s editing, elegant design, and stunning graphics have earned numerous prizes, including a Best New Journal award and four Best Journal Design awards from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, and a PEN/Nora Magid Award for Excellence in Editing.
We invite you to share in and support our endeavor by submitting to, reading, and, most importantly, subscribing to The Gettysburg Review. With its award-winning editing, writing, and design, The Gettysburg Review is, as one reader put it, “Pure delight, every time.”