An Ode to a Copy Editor by Josh Levario

for natalie

in an editing solar system, words sit suspended.
days are spent silently shifting them,
prodding with pens, doubtful eyes, and an assortment
of opinion.
a telescope takes you closer, where the details emerge.

a belt of commas, cuts, through and misplaces ideas.
wait, no, fix that.
a belt of commas cuts through and misplaces ideas.

when the universe doesn’t make sense, she is a helping verb.

she sits in the center of it all.
jeans cuffed to protect from dropped apostrophes,
misused predicates, and oxford comma slander.
words revolve around her as
the moon and her right hand pull mistakes astray.

I brought some cider she would say.

the only cure for those dangling modifiers.
no time for a pesky email, for advice columns, for the mistakes of yesterday.
just the click of a pen, and a fine one at that.
she pushes her glasses firmly in place, the reflection of her universe translated onto paper.
fix that
fix that
fix that.


Josh Levario is an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at San Antonio currently studying English and Film. His work has been published in the American Journal of Poetry as well as the online journal Anxious Poets Society.

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