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Winter 2019/20

Carol Alexander


Which curvatures still shine when night begins its master class in sightlessness? Flickers of wind escape north, casting the trunk in icy profile, while winter is weeks off. This darkness sharpens another sense, stiffens desire—and mercy corrects the blind glance, motion corrects it, flit and thrust pick out networks of sharp twigs, the extremities of sap. Wings enfolded in paper planes. Dusk is busier than what— a skein of swallowed words, untangling of the final warp. The camel bridge is numb to my foot. I have burials to attend, alleys of sullen cherry and lilac where grass was. On this calendar, each day sainted with peculiar tints, look for the sign of a bird and crumbs of casual tenderness. Someone with a notebook and fingers of charcoal turns my way expectantly, pointing where a shadowy plume's fallen into his net.  He has waited while the fleshly warmth runs down and lamps crisscrossing the park blush with artifice.  I have no instinct left for the hunt but this emptiness to learn, a hollow whistling, a pocketful of stealth. The little-seeming bird and tree resume their intimacy.  No other thing pretends, even, to feel the dark.

Carol Alexander is the author of the poetry collections Environments (Dos Madres Press) and Habitat Lost (Cave Moon Press). Her chapbook Bridal Veil Falls is published by Flutter Press (2013). Alexander’s work has appeared in various anthologies and journals.


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