Ellipsis–or an eclipse of the mind’s
sun stops everything. Asterisk.
And you / I begin again.
moving these fingers. I vouch for. But beyond that,
sometimes, into the shallow water
to take it back.
The coastline doesn’t allow that.
The moon takes back all the claimed sand
as the mind works
along its own line.
Today is shore, not coast. You’re going
to “make a bunch of noise”
now, a warning to me
that I won’t be able to heed–
My hands might become lawless
in the absence
of aural control. No auditorium for them.
Hang them up on the wall like a pair of snowshoes. Keep them
still until the noise subsides. A wave
The coastline remaking itself. From long ago.
At the End of Things
Light nudged aside
five percent conscious. The rest conjectured,
twelfth letter of the Greek
as mother. Translate
calling from the meadow.
Read it away
like a tattoo
that fades slightly.
I pick a stalk and roll it between
my thumb and index
the grains fall
at my feet, what grows
We know repetition.
Even longer when
the tide’s out.
Nerve impulses: never again shall they meet,
the coastline and the extra
To have placed a lien
on the coast,
assuring that it will not be sold
without one’s claim
c.1200, from O.N. þvert “across,” originally neut. of thverr (adj.) “transverse, across,” cognate with O.E. þweorh “transverse, perverse, angry, cross,” from P.Gmc. *thwerkhaz (cf. M.Du. dwers, Du. dwars “cross-grained, contrary.”
Not beside or cut away
not along the edge around the corners
but right across
from here to there
the only way to be somewhere
this need to travel!
How parse this need to travel? Contrary
to expectations. I’ve twisted myself
around long enough to find
where I’ve been going
a dark way
Kathleen Jesme is the author of three collections of poems: The Plum-Stone Game (2009, Ahsahta Press), Motherhouse (2005, Pleiades Press) and Fire Eater (2003, University of Tampa Press). She lives in Minnesota.
“Some years ago, I was sitting on the swing on my front porch on a warm summer afternoon in late July. Suddenly a hummingbird hovered right in front of me, about a foot away. It circled me twice and then zinged off. The only thing I could figure was that the red t-shirt I was wearing made me look like the mother of all flowers to that bird.”