Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130

ISSN 2160-4207
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Issue 97, July – September  2016
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130


Mimi Herman

Followed by Q&A
How I Wait

If you hold an empty bottle upside down
for long enough, the last drops of wine  
clinging to the inside of the glass

will coalesce, 
sliding to wet your dry
and barely patient mouth.

This is how I wait for you.

Side by side, we stare into the bonfire
our faces sheet metal hot
backs chilled by the late October damp.

Behind us, the party swirls and sparks.
Sometimes your hip nudges mine.
As we speak to other people,

our bodies drift together
touching and retreating in private conversation
drunk on single drops of wine.

This is how I wait.

Mimi Herman is the author of Logophilia and The Art of Learning. Her writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, Prime Number Magazine, The Hollins Critic and other journals. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. With John Yewell, Mimi offers Writeaways retreats for writers in France and Italy, and on the North Carolina coast. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Vermont Studio Center. Since 1990, Mimi has engaged over 25,000 students and teachers in writing workshops. You can find her at and at

A note from Mimi on "How I Wait"
A late night bonfire, a private moment in a crowd.

Stacy R. Nigliazzo asks Mimi three questions:

Keyboard or #2 pencil?

I use a fine Uniball Vision Pen in black for early drafts before a poem makes its way to the keyboard.

Imagine your favorite poets as your family. Who is your poetry father? Mother? Bratty sibling?

My poetry father W.B. Yeats. My poetry mother is Heather McHugh. Kay Ryan is my poetry auntie, and Billy Collins and Tom Lux are my poetry uncles. 

Think of your “poems I wish I’d written” file. What’s at the top of the list?

“Altruism,” by Molly Peacock