in some future time

What if, for us, there is no dark no cold dripping November spruce, no headstones, not even a name, the seasons saying relent with each drip. What if vetch and sweet pea tire of their work— honeysuckle exhausts its bloom? When the last visitor, a century ago tossed an apple it grew, but now gives…

Cascade Mall Shooting September 23, 2016

1. The day before my son was born my mom, and I took my daughter to the museum for kids. The one in the mall, with the semi-truck busting through the window, and the box of sand underground. 2. I walked the halls of that mall, empty and foreign as my body is now, void…

Watching You Sleep

Except for the rise and fall of a thin sheet/ draped across your chest, you could be dead. -Dorianne Laux, “Awake” 1. Late October morning, I watch you sleep, your arms spread, frog feet, like a crucified Jesus. I should get up, pump my breasts, sweep. I try to match my breathing to yours. I’d…

Distance

I stand beside the scarecrow and look where he looks, across the feathered gold and green, clump of trees, a single barn, a few dark lines where roads divide the fields. Clouds have crossed entire states to get here, their shadows in tow. As far as we can see is not that far, the scarecrow…

Bone

The scarecrow asks me about bones. He wants to know the feeling of them – the breakability, and the sturdy purpose of joints. He asks to touch my wrist, where the bones crowd into bumps so lightly covered, and the fused tectonics of my skull beneath its forested helmet. We speak of blood and marrow,…

The American Museum of Telephony Burns to the Ground

O said the old wood phone mounted on the wall O no. * * * Hot breath on the receivers. Tongues wagging, bad news. Tongues licking, bad news. * * * Smell that? said a Western Electric Model 500, basic black. Hot damn, it’s smoke. Is that what smoke smells like? said a Trimline 210…

Portable Mansions

Your mother awake in the kitchen before we’ve slept, tipping a coffee mug forward—through her small frame to a window of horses & hay. She doesn’t mention the bruising, our discretion unfurled along the highway. I’ll notice it later, after losing the scarf I bought to impress you somewhere under the bed. I’ll wake up…

A Sentence on Some Movements of Flower Petals

I was wondering about the ozone layer and how no one mentions its depletion anymore when the sun came out from behind a cloud and I noticed a petal from a cherry blossom from the tree next door (where Diane used to live) floating past my window rolling like a paddlewheel and then also, at…

In Memory

Today I gathered your bones and what was left. I am almost glad you both went at once. I hear sisterhood is strong even in death. Into the quick dug pit you go. It is hardly deep enough for winter. But it is August and if I am honest there cannot be much of anything…

Moon, I Already Know

The eye as a gate to sublimity, rain begets rain as the subject— it has since become funny to apologize for anything at all. Who are you? Who are you? Begging for walk into emblem, gnashing teeth, leaves fading into green only to become compostable again, eventually. Little rose-colored pennants of the season; futurity presents…

As If Light Could Ever Be the Answer (amber snail to the green-banded broodsac)

The green-banded broodsac is a behavior-altering flatworm that causes the snail to seek the light it usually avoids. The flatworm occupies the snail’s eye stalk and pulsates, mimicking the appearance of a caterpillar, so a nearby bird—the definitive host—might be tricked into eating the parasite. You prod me, shrinking, into the light. My tender eye…

Add Phthalo Blue

To the lean trees, leafless, the sky awash in spirits, to rain-streaked, grayed-out wetlands. To aging winter’s illness—a cold-boned birch once silvered     by the moon. Phthalo blue—bright, crystalline—stumbled upon by a chemist troubled by contamination. Its light-fastness, tinting strength, its resemblance     to the blue powder childhood. Judith Skillman’s most recent book…