In “Cullen Island, Anacortes” poet Corinne Hughes reveals brash and radiant liberation from the unwelcome masculine darknesses of the past. “Cullen Island, Anacortes is a real location in Washington known for cliff-jumping,” Corinne told The Dewdrop. “I went there with my sister once and, well over a decade later, the memory of her jumping has persisted through time with such fierce clarity and joyous intensity for us both. It was as if she, as the elder, took on the task, for us both, to finally declare freedom from our childhood agonies,” she explained.
Cullen Island, Anacortes
her precious stone toes
—staring down the olivine slope
her pastel fist punching the air
—between sunflakes fallen through firs
her howling scream on the stained glass lake
—like a curled palm whispering a secret
There won’t be too many of these:
a young woman who has shaken off the harm enough
to be at ease among men, to see the cliff as an offering
Corinne Hughes is a poet and fiction writer. She studied creative writing at the Evergreen State College and attended the 2023 Juniper Summer Writing Institute for poetry. She facilitates writing workshops with Write Around Portland, a nonprofit providing workshops to under-served communities. Her poetry has appeared in Passengers Journal, Cirque Journal, and Fireweed: Poetry of Oregon and has been included in anthologies by the Horror Writers Association, Black Sunflowers Poetry Press, and Underland Press. She secretly thinks demons are adorable and currently resides at the end of a long, dark corridor in Portland, Oregon.