Fringe and Frayed—Janice Merendino


—Cooper Young

The bookstore owner
looks somewhere past me
as he hands me my books.
His eyes appear
as if they were made
of sea glass. Light blue
clouds around his pupil.
I ask if he can still
read the books in his shop.
He tells me no and laughs.
He has already read more
than he could possibly remember;
it’s no wonder his eyes
have had enough.
He says he is satisfied
that he can still make out the titles.

Cooper Young is a mathematician and poet who hails from Santa Cruz, California. His most recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Wayfarer, Lucky Jefferson, The Albion Review, and Miramar. His new chapbook, Sacred Grounds, was published by Finishing Line Press in May, 2020.

Janice Merendino is a teaching artist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, college professor, founding member of The Clay Studio, and the founder of the Branch Out Project. Her works on paper and ceramics have been exhibited nationally and internationally. More of her ink paintings can be seen at


(267) 787-1762

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