Features

Invisible Star Maps

For my stepdaughter Kari Harvey (23 December 1982–10 May 2016)

We know that we have passed out of death into life.

—1 John 3:14

Wherever we go we leave a thumbprint of the soul.

Ghosts of words we never said fill the rooms we leave. . . .

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Left

She broke all his moments in half with the kitchen door standing open.

—Anne Carson, “The Glass Essay”

 

 A Good Place to Dig

When my mother left, I had no idea of her leaving. She took nothing with her, . . .

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The Consort

The Santa Lucia station swarmed with security guards, choking off all water traffic. And Carlo sat sulking in his gondola, an American couple in his charge, their faces burning a bright shrimp pink as they strained to get a look at the pop star.

In a reproduction of Cleopatra’s gilded barge, . . .

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The Failure of My Music

I was cleaning the garage and then

the garage was clean. The voice

from the radio sounded shocked

by another mass shooting

but went on about the government

officials and their take on the violence,

which had nothing to do with pain

but was instead about elections. . . .

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In Praise of My Manicure

Because I was taught all my life to blend in, I want

my fingernails to blend out: like preschoolers

 

who stomp their rain boots in a parking lot, like coins

who wink at you from the scatter-bottom of a fountain, . . .

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The Calamity Prayer

Go West, young man: the first commandment of American dogma, and the last. Lewis and Clark heeded it in 1804, Kerouac and Cassidy in 1947. On foot or horse or motorcycle, in steamboat or convertible, we the people, as a people, chase the setting sun. Though the West has long been won (its native inhabitants slaughtered, . . .

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Transition: The Renaming of Hope

I will miss Anne, with the well-placed e and easy shape. Steep climb, perfect point, and the slide into the runout of three short, round letters. The way the letters smooth across the page in a tiny creek of repeat, nn, and slip into silence. . . .

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