Jace Raymond Smellie

on incurability

i had understood finding the cure

to be something like a treasure

hunt: deciphering clues left by god

to find his buried treasure chest

filled with the light we seek.


a neighbor,

whose dad works in pharmaceuticals,

believes a cure has been found but is kept

hidden behind the billfolds.


a cancer center sponsors

a major league soccer team—

their logo is cancer

crossed out in red ink like their goal

is to leave their oncologists jobless.


while weeding my mother’s flower bed,

years before her diagnosis,

i pulled a bulb from the earth

i didn’t recognize & tossed it

into the plastic among the suffocating weeds.

Jace Raymond Smellie earned his MFA in poetry at George Mason University. Originally from Pocatello, Idaho, Jace is a descendent of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. He was awarded a 2021 MFA Travel Fellowship from The Alan Cheuse Center for International Writers, and his recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Passages North, Ocean State Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere.
  • Lost Creation
    César Dávila Andrade, Translated by Jonathan Simkins
  • I Ride a Horse
    Tomaž Šalamun, Translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry