The solid floor recalls a room more merciful. It could not arrange itself into this stack of blocks, a castle in the mind. Where triangles sit until the end of the story in patient observance. While the rain breeds rivers, currents, a low slung remembered slice of the inner lapse. Where failure branched and tricks grew taller than disguise.

She fell on the stair and turned back. After that the situation worsened. Sound of bells from the steeple. End of afternoon and the light retreating. Green circle it was and not a backyard. Yet every day she put her foot down once on the grass, then pulled it back until the bells began to behave.




We were ready in the day and open. As white reunion. While flowers fill every vase where we twirl and land in the clear-eyed parenthesis. On the other side of waiting, these rooms. How they gleam and save us.

White language pretending to be birds gave townspeople the impression it had never happened. They went about their business briskly and spoke in clipped urgent voices. One of them would nod as he passed her where she sat on the granite bench beside a pool of orange carp, their fins wavering in the filtered light she clung to.




We set out in rain too loose to weave. An episode returned to singe the wasted limb. Know and then describe.

A region without a horizon; this space and landscape lack the seam to join them. She looked to the sky as if it intended to find the turf one day. She looked to the hills. The prairie contained the frightful need of the rippling grass.



Blue Waltz

To the fields of cornflowers stand up and say, You cannot be this terribly blue and have no eyes to remember me.

Lights on the rhododendron wink like flirtation’s tattered dress. Come hither glance around and around the dusty barn.


5. Breadbasket

Assembling mist into a pose of what it takes to arrive and then to be in this place, in this arrangement where dishes mend into the first day—white plates—she holds one. Sets it before you. And so.

Wind rises but the sky doesn’t change. No boats on the water. She wants to laugh at something, but no old dog to roll over and over, then jump up, tail awag,and in circles run. The light is slow. Against the houses, no lattice and roses climbing. A woman in her green sundress walking back and forth. The way she belonged there. What happened to the sliver spoon, small handle curved to fit a finger. And still it’s someplace else. Search the house, every drawer.

Joan Fiset's book of memoir prose poems, Now the Day Is Over (Blue Begonia 1997), won the King County Arts Commissions Publication Award. Her work has recently appeared in Cranky, Raven Chronicles, Under the Sun, and Crab Creek Review. She lives in Seattle.


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