Rigor Celsius and Intaglio

By SUSAN COMNINOS 

 

RIGOR CELSIUS
in Central New York

 

I’m allotted winter, allowed
Nothing that wasn’t before. Still, I am

Hovering a hand, tender to banks
            of precipitate. May
Our next day be beset by
Nocturnal mountains and stinging stars. Like this
Opinion, snowdrifts? This danger-of-us eclipsing
Rheumy streets and practical plows? Let’s

 

Aid only the air: Mock heat
            of liquid
Nitrogen. A helium head flares up
Down in a New York valley. Lift

 

Praise, shovels and skiers,
Rueful noses and itchy-pant aches. After
All (this temperate, tolerable year), the ice
Is so insistent—
            insensate, specific; flaying tongues that slip
Smart answers to cells
            of the metal
Element: its shrill decree
            that decades and octaves
            drop forever
            gallons below.

 

INTAGLIO
winter, in front of the TV

 

Oh, gray-hair:
Arm of speckled boredom,
Sit awhile
And pull your throat
A cask of some
-thing Peculiar.

 

The villagers are coming.
Let’s smile
With straws
And other
Cupboard staples.

 

Thief. Shoeless wonder.
The drop-cloth
Of the window
Strains the yellow
Light.

 

Oh, poked moon.
You like a flayed field,
Hinged-hipped in the house
Strays built for stones
To live in.

Susan Comninos’s poetry has most recently appeared in the Harvard Review OnlineMalahat ReviewSouthern Humanities Review and Hobart.
Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user spatz_2011

Rigor Celsius and Intaglio

Related Posts

How Living Looks

ARIEL CHU 
The three of us—Frances, Jay, and I—live in this rain-slick city, concrete buildings stained with runoff. At night, the streets stretch like black pools, glossy with reflected traffic lights. We stumble around half-closed night markets with our snapped umbrellas and damp socks.

Image of Susan Comninos's headshot.

Back Door

SUSAN COMNINOS
Something about the hinge / of your hips, the way you held them straight / when you danced. You pushed my palm to fringe: / the pelt of your belly, then sought the gate / you’d take into my body. Slick / as a wet floor that ruins / suede shoes—the sand tick / that hangs on from sea dunes...

Pandemic Diaries

JINJIN XU
Five times a day, there are knocks on my door and I have to open. I am learning to distinguish between the frantic banging of the hazmat-suited man taking my temperature, and the rushed taps of the man delivering plastic cartons of hot food. On my third day, two medics knocked...