Three Poems
Ellen Wehle

Every Jet You Watch Cross the Sky Is Me Leaving

Lanterns follow the footpath

Briefly then dwindle

Acorns rattle their hard questions

In this hour naked with fog you find me

Difficult to hoard

Tossed into last night’s fountain

I glister at the bottom

My kimono of oak leaves

Coals underwater

If Not the Bliss We Were Promised

If stars sing in our blood of trace metals

If atomic clocks rely on excitation

Sap rising up sugar maples

How many winters of white sleep

I awaited that arrival

If our fingertips house a hundred nerves

Each lit with alchemical fire

Name my race dust name me void’s daughter

If half-dead I just kept choosing

Light frozen to a solid

What else could it be this brilliant

Pane the fly is drawn to

Once I No Longer Lived Here

Even the songbirds excised my name

                                               Bowdlerized, blacked out of snapshots

                        Now voyager sail thou forth

I became a unicorn of legend

                                    Bridled with roses, had I ever

                        Slept here domestic

            Writ my will upon moving water

                                               Archives expunged

                                                            Mealtimes carried on without me

                                    Sawn in half, a trick I’d perfected

Doffing my top hat of aces and doves

                                               Cabinets gaping off

                        Hinges, music dead-stopped, every chair taken

                                    True as a turnstile

                        I had left them

Not a flicker of wind to trouble the candles