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Three Poems

Good night air glows
under the quantum 
quiet fury

of these southern
stars. You 
drive restless on 

the interstate
hoping not 
to lose yourself. 

The stars have you 
tonight, alone 
and aglow on 

a back road
in Kentucky. Unnamed

you name it 
Nantucket, as you 

mismatch real life 
with images

                       —the long grass
and rifles, occasional rain,
duties and responses, 
                       sidelined by loose
laundry, a pair of black
nylons drifting

A Sense for Everyday Living 

Not for what is surveyed 
or permitted but in 
the unloosening, as in the space
of an unpermitted love affair. 
Botzaris, Batallion, Bysra. 
Carthage as a description of a port,
a b/w image on Spot Satellite. 
A sense for the ellipses, movements
between places, ways, and difference. 
Being outside of the surveyed—
total sonority, a breech past total. 
Not for the accuracy or for maps, 
but for the interiors, the landscapes
of last cellars.


So. Four days.

All snow, the empty
backyard, with one
species tree.

The empty backyard
with its one species tree
is like a clean, cold animal.

A clean, cold animal
is like loneliness shared
between two characters.

Four days, snow still falls.

If this snow fall
could whistle, I hope it would
shape out a sappy star ballad.

“The days are clear”

“The summer nights are short”

“Twist me a crown of wind-flowers”

Oh snow. You are depressing,
on a broken trampoline in my backyard.

Maybe then,
snow can resemble
a clean start? New paper.

But neither
thoughts have much to do
with you or me. Our

shared loneliness,
a cold, dark animal sleeping
between two sad characters.

“The wind has such a rainy sound”

“Who has seen the wind”

“Twist me a crown of wind-flowers”

Why we love the prettier moment,
even when its details are gone

That is, like fallen snow.

Cristiana Baik’s work has been published in American Letters and Commentary, Word For/Word, Jacket Magazine, and elsewhere. Graduating from the MFA program at the University of Alabama, she’ll be moving on to work as an editorial assistant with the Boston Review.