Cynthia Arrieu-King

The Darkest Night in 500 Years

How can you see a lunar eclipse? It’s no small part of an orbit.
The cold is on and the kitchen does a sizzling sound.
I keep ordering books for the library
that no one reads. The planets show up on the stamps.
The stamps show up on seasonal cards.
I have never seen such big dresses for such small frames.
As if the pearl between these legs would blind passersby with its light.
Fitting that night drapes down to the ankles.



Hope is the Mother of the Stupid*

Distant chatter, blue and one cloud
this clear water of injury
I’d never cried from pain before
another android scenery
That’s not what I said
That’s not how it’s spelled

By the end of a day
escarole, the never clock
hobbled by fiery pins; note
don’t ever do English paper piecing again
an agony of detergent,
shoulder cartilage ragged.
Wonder if the binding hex worked—
Found in my dreams a way
to rest that didn’t hurt
so breathed in the pleasure
of waking soft, free, a blue rag—
knew I had only seconds until
it returned so took a photo the angle
of my head, this neutral face.



*polish proverb, from @kylecomathompson on IG



This drowned thought
the cab has asthma becomes
the car has arms and
the flowers dried out
the lilies go bomping

(the phone wanted to simplify)
mom can’t recall that I was here
I look up tricks for keeping
forgetful people calm—
wash the years off their faces
buy them peridot
show them the letter
in which their father begs
the mother to buy
little them some bread or
show them a star that rides in its blue case,
a small fire that sets every evening
and appears in this green order
moons of this life
flung into sunshine



Cynthia Arrieu-King lives in Philadelphia, works near Atlantic City, and spends a lot of time in Louisville, Kentucky. She edited the Asian Anglophone issue of dusie and also the last book of poems by the late Hillary Gravendyk, The Soluble Hour, due out from Omnidawn in fall 2017. This summer she'll do a month long residency at Gullkistan in Iceland.