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  CARDINAL POINTS: THE CURRENT ISSUE
Heather Thomas
SPEED OF LIGHT

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Heather Thomas
The Fan


Waving its crenulated edges,
                the fan moves over the wounded table

revolving around night, around history
                as loss. With cloths in both hands

I polish my mother's table; moths cling
                to the screen, my hands circling,

cleaning the wood until
                they rub off into the cloths and I

leave them inside. You will know by the nocturnal
                business of air. By light I'll be gone

to hands grown back on a serrated shore
                where I cut my feet traversing crosscurrents,

the mix of fabulous winds.



Odysseus in Amberland

                                                                for Craig

Feathery web above my single bed
makes darkness visible, home a lung.
I breathe as if I lived, as if you
turn sheets and rain to sails,

make darkness visible, home a lung.
Reach back to hold the burning globe,
turn sheets and rain to sails.
My dream was once a sleep I heard.

Reach back to hold the burning globe:
a self you saw in me I wonder who.
My dream was once a sleep I heard.
The sparrow calls the wren to sing

a self you saw in me I wonder who.
The deer look back at us, we drink their gaze.
The sparrow calls the wren to sing
as I attach more feathers to the web.

The deer look back at us, we drink their gaze.
Awake youd rather be a foreigner
as I attach more feathers to the web
and wander mossy gaps of afternoon.

Awake youd rather be a foreigner
arriving with a book when wine is poured
and wander mossy gaps of afternoon
through amber trails of Vilnius hotels.

Arriving with a book when wine is poured,
I breathe as if I lived, as if you
through amber trails of Vilnius hotels
and feathery web above my single bed.



Speed of Light


The solar system aligned in tawny fire,
                as usual, for the last
ghost flower, the dusky sparrow

with a backbone like our own,
                the last tongue of ice stretching down to Russia
across Siberias Laptev Sea

as it dissolved. The pumpkin moon rose to white fire
                when farthest from us.
The older it was, the fiercer the ember

can you show me the new species
                of our finished knowing,
of its dismantling beyond pieces of light,

the blazing star that thrives in the ground
                as button snakeroot,
the old North Pole well sail across?

In midnight pouring rain I draw the curtain and see
                a buck leaping River Road.
Drenched antlers flash in the streetlight

my roots untangle Listen,
                go eat an apple, find a sunpatch,
light a candle in some dark corner,

burnish your heart in the light you become.



 
Copyright Heather Thomas
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