whatever the form of the vessel
whatever makes you long and long
and covered with mirrors, everything half
ear-marked or smudged with citrus
tell me more about your inner side walls
whatever my glance at you, companion star
more southward, more delicate separation
you told me what to sing
I can promise you the singing happened
I move from a thing gone, embarrassed
by my own planking footfalls, my singing crossings
I watch floes from the edges dismembered
evidence that “light too is being stretched”
I am always awake, tired but alive
tubes pumping under the floor of my bedroom
hot letters inked with a calm
we stand no chance, do we
have you seen Jupiter lately
is how we talk to ourselves
here where the infinite
becomes its own container
in this I emerge too
for ACH and CC
These machinations had been steadfast and touching,
had been missing us for how long now? So I’m writing
them again to you, all that is eroded and riddled
by our valley full of tornadoes. Something we would call
upheaval in batches. The great blink between riverbeds.
I’m just assuming this cache of friendship, cheered-on
pancakes and surprise Carole King tunes on the ukulele.
These acres we’ve fixed, magnolias I’ve missed but counted
anyway. I am not that whale with the wrong song, carving
out some space between my bellow and someone else’s.
I can feel the word triggering happening. I can notice
a barge in the wind already becoming fond of us.
What now. I can doubt again and again. To forget you
I first need to remember you. I’m just carrying out
someone’s unrealistic expectations, why I couldn’t
be brave here why I’m starting to replace the purge
with screaming sunlight. We are the best family,
the strongest wooden prow. These bloody marys
have salt on the rim that I’ve never considered before.
You surround yourself with microwave facts and blind spots.
I am going to get this splinter out with a bulldozer.
GALE MARIE THOMPSON is the author of Soldier On (Tupelo Press, forthcoming) and the chapbooks Expeditions to the Polar Seas (Sixth Finch Books) and If You’re a Bear, I’m a Bear (H_NGM_N Books). Her work can be found in Best New Poets 2012, Sink Review, Denver Quarterly, Volt, Colorado Review, Guernica, and others. She is creator and editor of Jellyfish Magazine (jellyfishmagazine.org) and lives, writes, teaches, and studies in Athens, GA.