Your suspension of being. I’m painstaking. I’ve been charting
this place, suspended above the dead. Pain and staking. I’ve
been asking the dead if there’s room. Noting this cartography of
ground and under. The sunlight is a précis. A curved, recursive
way of deciding what’s prime. I have been repeating steps that
won’t repeat. And you know that I came into grief without faith
and with the weather’s oscillation. I believe in wagering and luck
and push. But still I need some fixed points. There are 63 angels
in our parents’ house. They are gods of the gaps.
I’d like to hold things like integers. I counted the angels and the
crows flew over a river. Calling here shear bare bare. Yes, rhythm
is the cause. The 1 then the 2. This was the promise of our
forbearers. Yes they bore deep. The promise in heaping bodies
under heaps of dirt. The changed tightnesses. Open through
them. And you’ll see there is more fraying, more movement that
is called death. When they are saying we’re better off, get off, fly
off the handle. And then you’re off. For a while. Then a finish
line. And you’re surrounded. Call them crows.
Janelle Adsit‘s poetry has appeared in publications such as Sixth Finch, Confrontation, The Cultural Society, and Lalitamba. She lives in northern California where she teaches creative writing at Humboldt State University. www.janelleadsit.net
Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Ceasura, Chariton Review, Redivider, Rattle, and elsewhere. He is currently Assistant Poetry Editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers and a poetry editor for Four Ties Lit Review. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.