Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Karen Craigo

In the Notebook by My Bed
I find notes to myself
from my midnight self,
whose penmanship
lacks. I like that lady,
her stridency—determined
not to lose a scrap, she drops
the sleeping ego a note
concerning a mug, worked
in lonely earth and chosen
from a pile of mugs, each
looking much the same. She
underlines, exclaims—This
you need to hear, she signals
with a slash of descenders,
too rushed to cross her Ts.
Sometimes, the pure language
of the mind is untranslatable,
but I hear how she’s burning
to reach me—she is holding out
a vessel, we chose it for
some reason, and now each
of us questions what makes
the other so desperate
to break through.

* * *

Clair de Lune
There’s this boy,
in love with the moon.
He spots it slivered
in the daylit sky,
and I’ve heard him sing
through the glass,
some lunar language
I forget, and I’ve spied
him under it, placid,
smooth-lidded, basking
in the white. Just
yesterday he broke a nail,
cradled it in his palm,
said Mom, look—

a hand-moon.

* * *

Gathering Eggs
I open a door, no bigger
than this notebook, and out
they rush, in a panic for dirt.
I’m here for their eggs,
something they give up easily,
and I get it, some months
entire paychecks collected
by snake-fingered hands.
There is the matter of food
and water, then I scan the pen
for the sly fuck-you of yard-eggs.
I wonder if they saw
the meteor last night, fast-
skidding like a stepped-on yolk,
but these are early birds, bent
on the business of scratch.
In their boxes I measure
the heat of their orbs,
but one girl waits me out—
quiet-sings her egg song,

eyes me as I back away.

* * *

Karen Craigo's first full-length poetry collection, No More Milk, is forthcoming this summer from Sundress Publications. She teaches writing in Springfield, Missouri, and she writes daily about poetry and creativity in the blog Better View of the Moon.

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