Anastacia Tolbert

How to Comfort & Say Goodbye


if you were a lost bobtail
i could easily calm you with
warm milk & a ball of yarn
let you get distracted by heat
& color & action
if you were a shiba inu
i’d find any object & throw it
far enough to watch you run
but close enough for you not
to get discouraged at the distance
of the thing you want the most
if you were my baby/us tied
by a bloody chord of spirit &
sacrifice i’d hold you close to my heart
& let you hear something familiar,
something true
let the thump surround sound
you. watch your lips pleat
into a smile.
but you are fear & i don’t know
how to stop your grinding, gnawing
gnashing—as there is no comfort
for separating a thing from its



Anastacia Tolbert’s work is a trellis of twilight, ultramarine ache and lowercase loam. She is a writer, Cave Canem Fellow, Hedgebrook Alumna, EDGE Professional Writers Graduate, VONA alum, creative writing workshop facilitator, documentarian and playwright. She is the recipient of the San Diego Journalism Press Club Award for the article “War Torn.” She is writer, co-director, and co-producer of GOTBREAST? Documentary (2007): a documentary about the views of women regarding breast and body image. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published or is forthcoming in: WomenArts Quarterly, Specter Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Everyday Other Things, Women Writers in Bloom, Saltwater Quarterly, The Poetry Breakfast, Things Lost, Midnight Tea Book, Reverie, Alehouse Journal, Women. Period., The Drunken Boat, Torch and many others.

Anastacia Tolbert features at Seattle SPIT + OPEN MIC @ Wildrose, 1021 E Pike pm Thursday, January 10 at 8:30 – 10:00 pm.


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