Write a poem in which the sun is just the sun,
but the dust becomes a metaphor for your day job.

Write a poem for someone you love,
but don’t let them know it’s about them—

just mention their favorite flower
and mail it to them by midnight.

Write a poem whose first line hibernates,
last line sheds its skin.

A poem that can only be read in a whisper,
in a river fiddled with nettles and fern.

Write a poem in which the morning begs
to be re-read. A poem that is a sentence

and a second chance to translate
skin into sand then back again.

Write a poem in which all vowels are mirrors
meeting your face with no fear.

Write a poem for someone you’ve hurt.
If they’ve forgiven you, end

the poem with an adverb. If not,
end the poem with a noun.


Paige Wilson’s debut chapbook I’ll Build Us a Home is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and three Pushcart Prizes. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW.