Bone Almanac

By JACQUELYN POPE

That black telephone would ring and ring,
fixed to its wall. It was a ring that roamed
the mind, while night drummed down
its list of last and lost events, circadian
paths that tangled where they tried to pass,
crossed and uncrossed hours.

The body’d
yield, caving in to sleep, the craved thing
neither wet nor warm, soft simple oblivion.

Yet you’d have none of it, stricken from light
as you were, turned and returned on currents
of exhaustion, low tides and high times,
unprettied by tricks of heat, cheated
of illusion.

Dream back to otherwise.
The laddered rope you climbed to see the lights
of town still dangles where you left it, a token
of time framed in an old exchange,
the horizon fallen away on all sides:

flattened, widened, extended unto vanishing.
Jacquelyn Pope is the author of Watermark. Hungerpots, her translations of the Dutch poet Hester Knibbe, is forthcoming. She is the recipient of a 2015 NEA Translation Fellowship, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, and awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 09 here.]

Bone Almanac

Related Posts

Recife, Brazil

Translation: Poems by Lara Solórzano Damasceno

LARA SOLÓRZANO DAMASCENO
Nosotras, who for millennia have steered warships, / sailing through seas made invisible. / Nosotras, who walked barefoot through valleys of stinging nettle, had our name ripped from the book of history / our biography from the scientific treatises

Ice fishing

June 2021 Poetry Feature

CORRIE WILLIAMSON
You lamented the absence of a human sound for longing, / like the loon has, like the wolf. I think of you reading / to your donkey the day he died, the passage where Odysseus / kisses the soil, how the beast moved away from you, / stood quietly in the clover, then returned...

Kentucky farmland

64-West & KY State Fair

D.S. WALDMAN
And how, / if we keep going, pushing ourselves farther / from ourselves, we’d see, eventually, the blankness / we were one day born into. / I forget what you / told me after—I think it had something to do / with loneliness.