archives winter 2009



Ardentia Verba

the ocean laps toward shore, but land puts nearly its whole
body underwater as if to live there, where touch decides

we know nothing

each medusa an organ disguised as debris
the autocracy of the photon disperses, the diluted

light of the moon returns to the surface, gently tosses
tulle over a language of living tissue, the distinction

between animal and location all but illegible, organized sea
water amasses at the edge of breath to feed—mass

ascension—radiant inkling of asterisms—in hydrostatic
spirals deep below where the ocean hears the heart

of the earth churning, urchins spill their sperm & eggs
while jellyfish light up the sensory bath—instruments

in the submersible bleached blue—mate & prey in sheer
incandescence, luminosity a lure, lines of stinging cells



Ode to Tupperware

Subtle courier of cabinets, refuge
for things with a penchant for decline,
how careful you are with the cut-open,
clapping for the whole echelon
of the kitchen, how you dip for eggs,
spread more open for casserole.
What sheer clarity of purpose, thin
grace, taking up no space, stacked
one inside the other like matryoshka,
revealing only diminishing
versions of one’s self.

Sure, you could kill us with
hypersyntheticlean, but we study
your clarity closely, how your clear bark
is a fawning palimpsest, ready to alter
at the drop of a snack, unflinching
under the backsides of leftovers—
prune purple, Spaghetti-O orange, dark
chocolate, beet red you blush.

You have the awol allure of gel
icing, Craftmatics, so we drive
suburban distances to arrive
at a party of you sprawled out
like toothsome ornaments on a fold-
out table in the living room. With deluxe
crackers and waxed-paper cups of diet
soda sucked under the skin, we finger
your polymer backbones gently, pass
them warm to one another. Sitting on plush
carpet, we each, in our own way, become
aroused, begin to want you,

the security you offer—
that our foodstuff may evermore be
safe from insects, small incapable
hands, an excess of air, each other.

Nature reveals itself in your geometry.
How you hold your breath, nearly
implode with chilled sibilance.  You bring us
vaguely together, radiate politesse. The sky
churns.  The coleslaw quiets. You snap
like all four car doors simultaneously, oath
the leftovers down.  


dawn lonsinger is currently living among aspen colonies in Salt Lake City, where she is managing editor of Western Humanities Review and is working towards a doctorate in English and Creative Writing at the University of Utah.  Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, The Massachusetts Review, DIAGRAM, New Orleans Review, Versal, Drunken Boat, LIT, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere; and her chapbook, the linoleum crop, was chosen by Thomas Lux as the recipient of the 2007 Jeanne Duval Editions Chapbook Contest.