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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 113 words
By Jonathan Yungkans

Duplex Beginning With a Line by Paul Ilechko

Existential departure that stretches time 
leaves on Track 29. Steel wheels glare 

	as the train glares, wheels grinding hourglass sand 
	in a knife-gleam. Passing glass-clear high-rises. 

Only thing clear about glass is its surface. 
We don’t see cracks underneath until breaking, 

	like how a moment can bend or break us. 
	How strongly tempered, glass or metal 

a person becomes—rail, line of track, glass rod. 
Molecules that can shatter upon impact—

	the life a train’s impact can twist and shatter, 
	grind and stretch in view of passengers’ windows—

steel wrung into ribbons, gems of scattered glass. 
An existential stretch of time’s departure. 



Poet’s Note:

The first line is from “(...under the knife)” in the poem “A Body of Pain,” from Ilechko’s collection Pain Sections (Alien Buddha Press, 2021).

Jonathan Yungkans
Issue 12, March 2022

is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer with an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His work has appeared in San Pedro Poetry Review, Synkroniciti, West Texas Literary Review, Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and other publications. His second poetry chapbook, Beneath a Glazed Shimmer, won the 2019 Clockwise Chapbook Prize and was published in February 2021 by Tebor Bach.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Le Grand Matin by Jonathan Yungkans, a Finalist in MacQ’s Triple-Q Writing Challenge (Issue 11, January 2022)

La Porte by Yungkans in MacQ’s special Christmas Eve issue (10X, December 2021)

Two Duplex Poems, plus author’s notes on the poems and on the form, by Yungkans in Issue 10 of MacQ (October 2021)

Lawful and Proper, poem in Rise Up Review (Fall 2020)

Cadralor in the Key of F-Sharp as It Cuts into My Spine, in the inaugural issue of Gleam (Fall 2020)

I’d Love to Cook Like Hannibal Lecter [video], read by the poet at an event sponsored by Moon Tide Press (10 October 2019) celebrating the anthology Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired by Horror

Saving the Patient, poem in The Voices Project (18 January 2018)

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