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  • Route 7 Review

Clara Howell—Would You Believe Me If I Said: I Still Love You?

Would You Believe Me If I Said: I Still Love You?


If I told you the left shoe

you wore had no sole,

would you think I was


If you told me the burns on your fingers

were from lighting candles on my first birthday

I’d believe you.


On Columbia Boulevard your mobile home

is a tombstone. Whiskey waves lap against

empty-bottle graves.

Ghosts bubble around your ankles.

They’re too deep, you said, the holes.

You started digging before I was born.


One December I saw you

crawling out of scars, turning

a million tiny door knobs. Had you

swallowed the keys in handfuls?

You were opening hundreds

of caskets across your body.


I never stopped searching for the face

of you holding my brother

over the pond in Laurelhurst,

black hair reaching like outstretched

hands begging for a shovel.

That photo was the only time

I really saw you.


You stand at the window

but you’re not home.

The Other Side of The Mirror

plays on vinyl and ghosts

scratch on the disc like rain.

If I told you I

liked the way spit formed

on the corner of your mouth

like a dozen white roses

would you believe me?

Clara Howell

Clara Howell is an emerging poet born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Clara finds poetry as an opportunity to connect the ordinary with the extraordinary by putting her most honest and raw experiences on the page. Clara's work has been previously published in the Pacific Review and Cathexis Northwest Press.


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