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12.19.17
From Indivisible
–for Cecilia Vicuña
 
Indivisible, mopping from feeding. The way a word with roots in grief mimics a corset, a comb, an apple. I shed a long primal shadow, the way breath is a little nothing. A low sky catching skin. A seesaw with one side perpetually higher. Invisible dolls, orphans to a sled in relation to saint or witch. Indivisible—stain from wound and siphon. Why dull luminosity with ash? Drink a dose of pepper? Wear braids instead of hands?



 




 
A coat of soil is difficult to wear especially when making one’s way through a question of windows, a ribbon of hours. I walked out beneath a moon of arguments into a snow of feathers. My coat of soil was falling from my shoulders, leaving silt traces in the library of mothers. I went out again through the gates of cloth and into a finger of winter. A needle of sugar around my neck to probe a glove of thought.



 




 
I won’t wear my head unstitched until I learn to find my name in sand. A perfect way to end a text about absence, when the mind goes out walking without consent of the body. Ushering chandelier tears. The rest of severed centuries, tucked under the sleeping world news. Topsoil, rainwidth, up and down ravished. I prodded myself between borders of folly. Indivisible—where we may speak in private from where we may speak with no words.



 




 
Indivisible. Looking at the sky that resembled other skies. Set in a circular pattern, she remembered herself already flown. Replaced by flocks of white layered plumes. Dark spots in trees, creased arboretums. Watery crowns, vernal. The sun will live through winter. The same dimensionless room tarnishes all grounds. When did you become cumulonimbus?



 




 
Where is you’re here, your arteries, your inner sleepy worldly runways? Sky with no confluence. Ring (fore—lingerers). Gravities tear mist from reading. Hoops of helmets or barrels. Like a fallen fog obscures a giant tree resting in swarms of rain. Steam rising from a chimney is only the outer layer of disorder spreading.



 




 
Indivisible. Fold from felted snow. Chrysalis from precipice. Going to the moment—whose cause—looking at another sky. With hope—the same sky vociferous, magnifies each day. Your eyes are unchanging. Cerclen. Do you travel by mead, by gale, by instant, by glare? Indivisible. Overspread from darken, cover from cloud.



 




 
Thought from seam, lobe from curtain, face from stage, snow from bright. Your eyes are unchanging. Rehearsed skies with years and glitter, icy branches, trains, semaphores. Hannah’s signals. Look up. Hide us. Was there anyone present in vestments of gray undulations? Wavelet, undula, root, wedded to water.



 




 
Etymology of undulate, circle and cloud. We sign our letters in undulating skies.



 




 
Encipher brevity from trance. Sepals prone to nemesis. Sinking mimetic. Firsthand cirrus, cumulus, stratus, nimbus. Unpinned dross. Indivisible—stitch from perforation, tongue from haste, travel from roads. Do you unravel in code, by hail, by imprint, by nebula? Where is your myrrh, your nursery, your inner sweep, your otherworldly delay?



 




 
Mix crushed paper, and bled flower stems with dish water. Stir with eyes. Place napkin on face. Inhale kettle steam. When lips are eaten by least seed snipes and vibration of snowdrops, gather striated thrusts of sky. Pour candle wax into open buds of evening primrose, the wedding of a girl to a book, a red bird inside the linings of a day, nobody’s archive.

Laynie Browne is the author of thirteen collections of poems and three novels. Her most recent books include You Envelop Me (Omnidawn, 2017), P R A C T I C E (SplitLevel, 2015), and Scorpyn Odes (Kore Press, 2015). Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship; the National Poetry Series Award (2007) for her collection The Scented Fox, selected by Alice Notley; and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award (2005) for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese, and Catalan. She co-edited I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press, 2012) and is currently editing an anthology of original essays on the Poet’s Novel. She teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College.