Five Poems
Kerry Banazek

First, Things to Discover

the opening. that joinery is alarming. ulna, radius, elbow, humerus, shoulder joint that brings sight to the edge of this and other half-born worlds. the human hand. hesitation sinking, the park bench, the bus seat, the window. shadow puppets and sign language for rapture.

under a magnifying glass. tendons, politics, bone shard gaps and the grip. erasure. the grip and the hesitation before it. here-not-here. anatomy of. the slipping on and off. reality as if masks or beginnings. the phalanges, which are strangely like our own. wide arc of unhand. bastard wing thumb and thin-made metacarpal beauty. the trying on.

Second, Things to Discover

after meeting in a brew pub, running home. cold and elastic. shoes in hand. the stumbling through, the neighbors’ hedgerows, the elation. the winter rhododendron garden. not in bloom. wax lips of leaves that brush against ruptured grasping. misplaced bone-crush language of. virgin eye. a wordless jaw hinged open and frost melting off. et cetera in the rain.

light the nickel-tin river gives. by the light, the green eyes of roundabouts that go by. each fence, each hedge, each paper swallow in an empty-branch fruit tree. the other side, a fish market, whisky-skin pastries and tacky wet alphabet prayers. fixed gear kiosk memories, the undoneness of love. block concrete fences, imported bamboos, basements with windows. the human hand. a human hand. your human hand. the elation: the erasure.

From an Atlas of Insomnias

This high desert a river of silhouette
hurtles makeshift between a
blind spot in the will, beauty haunting
the immunity of decline,
and several limb-stretched acts:
to continue, to patio, to job story,
to peel away, to center
hoard, to golden eagle, to bigger than, to
winter garden, to after
dinner, to wind settle, to mouth dry.

To dry rot, to fix, to sound glimpse, to length light,
to see, to sky net, to fast,
to each, to chemistry, to sight betray, to thin,
to canvas wrap, to not
other, to succulent, to always,
to bird open: the too loose membrane of a
woman, the fragments of the
waiting, the yesterday words, the beginning
of blue, the if-nots, the soon
between autumn and the cold long.

What is received by conduction can mean
the predator seasons or
how the moon razors into a life or
nothing. It can mean no thing
with a sound warmed name. It can mean:
in a backroom with the Borealis, a senescence
of threats. That seeing is a localized
phenomenon and warm is not the same as rancid.
This is about a lid held
open, not your eyes. Infinity can be

a pole on a globe or a chemistry of
star follicles. Under heavy
grey hulls of indoor sky, reason implies an
industry of deciphering
the impossible ways. You find yourself
overwhelmed by stale desires: to
grow dry-dead stalks of kitchen
herbs from seed, to feel alone if and only
when you are alone. Sooner
or later, you discover your electric

hands and your mouth-sea filled with nebula
tongues that spend their time seeking
light instead of letters. You discover a
landmass inside your body.
You build up a critical mass of
gratuitous pride and then you come face to face
with a flood of world stoppers.
You become a fascism of questions, that is
to say, a problem set: Prove
the axioms of vector space. Find a

subring of ZZ that is not an ideal.
Test the limits of your own
skin by watching a hand fold and unfold. Watch
it again and again. Let
light be an element and let
teeth be an operator. Sooner or later,
you experience a
dialogue of ellipses, a single social
imagination, a virtual grounding. Reading a field guide to
mushrooms you discover the elliptical motion
of eyes. You become an
advocate for the existence of real and public places.
You use strange, inflected phrases.

Take this? Talk the night-ocean down from a bridge?

Fully Illustrated in the Chapter on Wishes:

The androgynous wolf moon. An animism of signs.
                                                                                 Our asking about. Shelf lives and what-withs. All those first times when nothing’s new-worth
keeping? And what to do with a bird-black sky
full of. Singular deformities. The table yard where someone goes to. Carve fetishes. A snake-idea and the fact of snakes with skins like our skins-that-tell.

Fully Illustrated in the Chapter on Wishes:

Scandent stems, slim and feminine like violence.
                                                                    An ocean under land, taste-
trapped. Our one bird-grey way of looking at. The glycerine sky. All the psychological correlates of physical strength. All those shared auditory sensations. Cilia waves and bones hidden
way down in ears. Strange as
a henge, dark as an accident. Hedge—our branch-to-come, wrought-arm history. Your geode body. Uncut and. Our branch-to-know, break-to-give way of asking. All about. All those first times. All their glanced-out fingers. All their ravaged passes. To the pass-through places, their. Intervallic pleasures.
                                       A room strung full of peripheral glitter and. All
the ways we know. What kind of bones to be: hollow, as in old-world wings. Set by vocal chords for calling-and amplification-or. As used by shamans for.
Soul retrieval. Extraction and. Illumination.

Kerry Banazek is a writer, teacher, and sometime photographer with ties to Northern New York and the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry and microprose has appeared or is forthcoming in Third Coast, Seneca Review, and elsewhere.