Today's poem is by Dawn Lonsinger

Afternoon Ether

Mold spores land on wet surfaces,
and for three hours I remove this evidence,

disinfect the bathroom with chemical pine,
wipe away our wandering animal hair.

On the shelf, I dust the clotted memory of mollusks,
press the lightning whelk shell to my cheek and it threads

through me like a pozidriv-head screw made of nothing:
and saltwater swells in around my organs,

fills up my body and spills out into the whole of
Eau Claire, river spent on river, swallows dipping

down, just above the new aquarium of the room,
the house buckling, papers and furniture turned

planetary, mute. I am split, underwater, wearing
a bracelet of fish bones, wet sand filling up my ankles.

Through the kitchen window I see an ATM
floating by, the ether locked inside it, wet.

Somehow, through the instantaneous, beyond the now
folded garage door, I hear a car pull into the ocean,

and my heart heaves itself back to shore, crowns,
retracts, and crowns again, splitting the linoleum.

Outside, the engine is cut, the minnows
are gone, and the sun is the oligarchy that perforates.

I feel my body in the shape of a shell,
hot metal cooling under my hood,

my fingerprints a whorl of branches, the bathtub blank.

Copyright © 2006 Dawn Lonsinger All rights reserved
from Redactions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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