As if heart and lungs flatten back to ribs
a clearing inside the body. As if there is
no use in a center, you can live
hollowed out, away from one taking the place
of a mountain, you whose bluff body
has the power to part water,
to spin parallel wakes, to stand in the way
of wind's blunt edge, diagonal to the flow.
As if standing at the crossroad
buttoning your coat, wind-whipped,
the coat scissoring into tatters and you
spiraling into cloudscript,
a double helix across the sky, the future plunging
to the past, where friction and pressure
shed a signature
here, now, on the body vibrating.
Laying Down the Moon
Last time the water rose
the grandfather clock,
unhooked the iron
lifted the old moon face,
lugged it all upstairs.
Now with wind upending
into its howl,
our other moon rests
against the woodpile,
its crescent tip
tucked between crumbling logs.
We watched this moon
from the kitchen window,
the sky moon gliding
across its mirrored face
filling, emptying, tracing
the arc of an invisible clock
through sheaths of sky.
We walked out back to see
ourselves reflected, to breathe
our smallness into fallen space.
As I slip the tip from the log
and lay down the moon,
I lean over roiling clouds.
My lungs release
something long held.
This poem is reprinted from Vortex Street
(FutureCycle Press, 2018) with permission of the author. It was first published in Fledgling Rag
"Double Helix" is reprinted from Vortex Street
(FutureCycle Press, 2018) with permission of the author. It was first published in Barrow Street
Heather H. Thomas is the author of Vortex Street
(FutureCycle Press, 2018), which includes a poem honored with a Rita Dove Poetry Prize as well as work translated into Arabic, Italian, Lithuanian, and Spanish. (www.HeatherHThomas.com