a psychoterratic reading
a koala clutches gum topped box
turns from dinner
bird climbs out
from the edge
of human brain
another bird perched
on a different branch’s limit
the flora the flora
including the fern
tucked behind the ear
a eucalyptus flower
brain’s stem, remember,
that ear can hear
and the flame
slender water vine
no, not that kind
sculpt each piece
from fragile material
building a solid form
followed by a hollowing out
bio- or necro-philia?
among the death focus (a)men
how does the brain explain?
neurons that fire
brain good at learning
bad at learning
to neural structure.
trips the binary
the built and natural environments
the psychological state
but when you’re
beyond your control
homesickness at home
Exile (or Waking, 23 May)
after Maged Zaher’s The Consequences of My Body
I told him not to pet the sea lion
Circumstances on the ocean are different
He has such tenderness for animals
This includes for me
The body is a sea of refugee boats
Tanker ballasts and cruise ships
That kind of need displaced empathy
We march millions into exile—
Ochre Star, Pacific Ocean
after Raul Zurita
Sea level rises as ocean water warms and expands. Starfish arms
walk off on their own. Down below the ocean, up above the ocean,
up above unusual clouds on a clear day. Starfish arms turn up to sky.
There was our love turning away; there was a clear day shambling
from the shore.
Lesions pit skin in shambles, sea levels. Orange, purple, brick-red.
Arms turn up to sky. Our love turning from the tide pool
signatures. Our love signature shambling from the edge of the sea.
Orange, purple, brick-red skin. Sea and starfish unclung to clear day.
They were just falling apart, he said. Here are the beings we love,
she says. They were falling apart. Unclung days draw from the limit
of the sea.
The sea, in feeling, warmer, water’s stress from late summer
or whatever sea. Warmer days at sea. For the things we love.
Tissue where animal used to be.
They were falling apart, she says, tissue where animals used to be.
Orange, purple, brick-red. A species that makes no sound.
A child holds withering star. Silence holds star to sky and sea.
Deborah Poe is the author of the poetry collections keep, the last will be stone, too (Stockport Flats), Elements (Stockport Flats), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords), as well as a novella in verse, Hélène (Furniture Press). Her writing has appeared in journals like Denver Quarterly, Bellingham Review, Court Green, Colorado Review, Yellow Field, Touch the Donkey, and Jacket2. Her visual works—including video poems and handmade book objects—have been exhibited at Pace University (New York City), Casper College (Wyoming), Center for Book Arts (New York City), University of Arizona Poetry Center (Tucson), University of Pennsylvania Kelly Writers House at Brodsky Gallery (Philadelphia), and ONN/OF “a light festival” (Seattle), as well as online with Bellingham Review, Elective Affinities, Peep/Show, Trickhouse, and The Volta. She lives in Seattle.