The blind search with their fingers
point of chin, light of lashes, this hand on table,
one fourth of the body's bones splayed across the cool red surface.
What point of reference when the eyes are floodlights, navigation
a journey to a blight of boarded windows?
We continue to search for one of a million. Shimmer of this
particular aspen in a forest gone mad with shaking yellow coins.
Bend down to touch the loamy soil, search for what crumbles in wet leaves.
What was that melody that lingered long after you jumped?
How your fingers burned the piano keys at night, trusting the safety
of something solid, that row of spruce teeth.
Your fingers sloughing off day brain, all the tiny stitches needled into your skin.
The music unfurling, as if your fingers stroked blooms, splendor
of night blooming cereus and the blind stunned by the scent
breathing in those trembling white flowers.
On Algebra Clouds of Unknown Values
Grinnell Glacier speaks the language
of retreat, of skeletal ice
and tree creep filling meadows.
Lynx and wolverines
with nowhere to den.
The water drifts sky,
Mt. Gould, icebergs.
Socrates floats by, affirming the eternal
beauty of angles
ice geometry of trapeziums and rectangles.
We float too
the blue fire tongues
of our steaks and SUV's gorging.
The moraine speaks of sweltering rocks
and dust wind.
The glacier calves ice chunks
at the terminus.
Claudia Monpere's poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review and Prairie Schooner, and she is a recipient of The Georgetown Review Fiction Award. She lives in Oakland.
— posted July 2018