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poetry


DEAR MR AMMONS
by
Claire Clube

Iím not in the habit

of writing to dead poets


      however I would like

      to write you a poem


for I too share your love

of cash register

      tape

      the skinniness of the paper


a finely

sharpened pencil

uncurling the slightly soft

slightly unruly coil,

      how it spills from my desk

      in its own meanders


today      ice has formed

ampoules

at the edges of the lake

in some places even

like the shape

of sagging balloons


lugubrious clouds

Iím always looking

inside cracks

trying to sift

out the gold


you write about the soul

describe it like a river

using

      prairie

      accretion

      poise


scum and foam


is this how the soul is?


why does home feel

      so far away?

      always

we want to walk home


I like the idea of having wings

I often dream of moths

            did you know the wingspan

of a silk moth

      is one hundred and fifty

      millimeters wide


and the micro moth

less than a mere

tenth of an inch?


the soul weighs

just twenty one grams

maybe the same

as the innocence

            we lose


private

peculiar

delicate


barely discernible


as the opening of the iris

            the very first time

the closing for the last

            and the in between.



BLUE MILK
by
Claire Clube

I still wear stockings, palest-pink

and fairy wings dyed black.


When I was a child I wanted

to disappear,

be the force that hoists

the moon.


Weíll never meet again like this:


February 16,1991.


The sun goes down,

stains the sky tobacco.

My waters break.

I howl. You cry. How strange,

the placenta, plump

like a bagpipe.

My breasts fill with hot milk,

                                           blue milk.


You anoint me.


                  *


August 28, 2007. Labor Day weekend.


The police advise me not to break a thing.

To leave within the hour.


Your father says Iím unfit to be a mother.


Heís hidden you away.


I strip without shame, spread my limbs.

Iíve never begged until now.

Where are you?

He canít look at me,

but tells.


I step inside.

I know which vessel to smash:

wafer thin, opaque, ancient,

the colour of vanilla moon.

Shards shimmer in the courtyard,

porcelain moths dying in the light.


My nakedness they use against me

in court:

“an embarrassment.”


Youíll find a motherís heart can be broken,

and in many ways.


We tell stories,

stack them like wet sand.

Watch the sea break them.


My love is savage.



Claire Clube Creative Writing and Poetry at Harvard, 2004; M.F.A in Creative Writing from Bennington College, 2007.



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