As if it were a scene made-up by the mind
of who-the-hell-knows. My mind
looks for those archaeologies that yield
the oldest relics. My instincts tell me
a meadow does not augur the wind.
I’ve put my stock in craftsmanship
but lack the proper tools—a meme
of the grass blowing east against
the source of who-knows-what.
My sources lead me back to a meadow.
My tools have wounded no daimons
though my hammer strikes a fawn.
The stars sans their harmonies
will nonetheless follow the tempo
tradition has allotted them. My mind
hears nothing that my arms and legs do.
The meadow’s put on trial with us as
eyewitnesses, a darkling field for proof.
Alpha has the right to remain silent. Omega
can be used against you in a court of law.



This morning, I’ve fallen in love
with the sound of the word “adulteress”

I dressed the moon up classically
and my neighbor’s dog, like the sun

An owl will curse its teardrops
in my plot of rhododendron

My husband believes that sestinas
too often exaggerate the soul

Our neighbors call him Mandrake
when he wears his blue-green slippers

When I throw myself on the fire I know
the oldest instrument was a cairn


I always find myself stuck inside
someone else’s dream of the erotic.
I see two men walking toward me.
I see the ghosts of two young women
sitting next to you. Just sitting
in the sun, sometimes, you sweat
while the air, like a child turned acrobat,
makes the crudest of summersaults
irrespective of the season that wields it.
I held my pee in while I read
of the history of optics, giving the finger
to mountains that appeared more radiant
than my own. A diorama of crystals
with streaks of pink and white,
that’s what the the sun looked like
through the camera in my Bronze Age
cell phone. Mosquitoes at the solstice
would deign to love me. There’s no point
in swimming in a green river at night.
One philosopher says that every object
emits a beam of light that in turn
penetrates the eye. Another philosopher
says the human eye emits an infinite
number of beams of light that in turn
penetrate the object. A stick of candy
(blackberry) penetrates my mouth.
The presence of okra flowers
has shattered your vision of what it is
a garden should be—the eyes give you
only an inkling of what’s growing
the moment cornea rests upon corolla,
when the irises of plant and mammal,
if for a minute only, fasten on the beams
of one another. The eye’s its own
mythology since Iris, Greek for rainbow,
was a messenger from earth to sky.
The flowers will fall in patterns
despite our need to map them.
The petals feign outrage, and the stem’s
let loose its wizardry across the earth.
I wanted to unsmoke my lungs
in the evening and veil myself with quartz.
I wanted an uglier version of me
to secretly lay her bones down
in the quote unquote leaves. I said “leaves”
but what I meant to say to myself
was il faut que tu fucking see.



Sara Nicholson is the author of The Living Method (Song Cave 2014). She lives in the Ozark Mountains.

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