Crease

Blue can bleed
in so many directions,
she loses the map
inside folds in the sky.

As magnetic north shifts,
geese and turtles
and planes
scramble to find their way.

Who will remember
true signatures and gutters,
head bands
and dog-ears?

Who will teach
the anatomy of the book
when our planet’s
magnetic field flips?

Part of the last
untattooed generation,
she whispers an ode
to her largest organ—Earth’s too.

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magnetic declination

living so close
to the Mississippi River
she knows true north

lets lines of scrutiny
resurface along her forehead
under three new moons

and five recycled stars
the same night
robots begin to pace outside

a motion sickness
sea monster pokes its head
above gray before it turns green waves

at the most awkward moment
loses its way
more serpent than yeti

even as the palm of her own left hand
makes her nauseous
she won’t stop moving

will not amputate
will not break her own spine
before the library whisperer’s feet

everything hinges
on these shoulder blades
and those black birds

taking flight
through the propped-open
door to the lab

Sleeps Till Noon

like a teenager
she fails to fully recover
from the edges of a Friday the 13th

dreams in surrealist blue
and appalling white

adjectives with their resting
bitch faces
and snide comments

about size and texture
lay flat on a table
beneath a ladder

aching to be
magazines she would read

in her sleep
if the light were better

Ornithogothic

“O swallow, calligraphy,
clockhand minus minutes,
early ornithogothic,
heaven’s cross-eyed glance,”
—Wisława Szymborska, “Commemoration”

Here, where buttresses truly fly
or merely the early bird gets
the carcass of a clandestine sea monster
before others wake.

There, where I am lagoon swill
that seeks a culvert
into the bay. Tidal flushing,
I’m more brackish than salty comeback.

Wherever inverted umbrellas
floating overhead
bounce the day’s first light,
the lovers swim ahead to have a look.

Sgraffito

words trapped beneath layers of plaster
leave a residue of marble dust whispers

the silence
is an ancient silence
of trees with open wounds

resin bandages not yet positioned
or wrapped tightly

libations spilled
so long ago
the stains have faded

into ghosts of rappers
and saints splayed and vulnerable

the haunt walks out
the back door
free to roam

she wanders along an empty street
till a manhole entices her

she needs a permit to enter
this confined space
they need a permit to find her tucked inside

working letters
into worry stones

she would be a sea glass beachcomber
Baltic amber harvester
if she could stop biting her tongue