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Category archive for: Sierra Nelson

How to Remember

Heat is invisible but rises,

like the memory of a tree

streams off the orange

you hold in your hand.

That orange was true

as a photograph –

it really happened.

(Remember?)

I believe in love

and the way it leaves you –

a particle and a wave –

until the source is gone

and you’re out like a light.

Goodnight. Turn to the cool

outer edge of the sheet.

The ceiling heat stroked

by the sleepy fan.

The smell of orange blossoms

thickening the dark.

from Poetry Northwest 05.1 Spring & Summer 2010More by Sierra Nelson from the library

Copyright © Sierra Nelson
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

It Happened One Night

(1934 American black & white romantic comedy by Frank Capra)

which was really a week

of falling asleep

on a stranger’s lapel,

and the white satin

that went on forever

like a cigarette

that never sets fire

to the hay we sleep in.

It happened one night like

drunk reporters talking

into two phones at once,

like borrowed pajamas

and a donut dunked in coffee

early morning at the auto camp.

It happened one night but was never grim,

not the man tied to the tree

nor the man running in fear for his children

nor the recommended daily

sock to the mouth for her.

We barely felt it.

The autogyro was always ridiculous.

We run away

with the runaway bride

and we couldn’t be happier

from Poetry Northwest 10.1 Summer & Fall 2015More by Sierra Nelson from the library

Copyright © Sierra Nelson
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

We’ll Always Have Carthage

The head must bow to the heart,

which is why I always look down;

if the earth is round and round

I’ll be wrong until the ends of it.

Beautiful, you said, and meant

the sea. Reminding me—

there are walls to be built,

rocks carried.

Now I can’t meet you

or your eyes—just the boats

below in the harbor,

burning.

The wind shakes the earth

from its four corners;

the flames are picking up,

or is that me shaking?

Look, I’m right—the sun is underwater.

Now get out of here with that lion’s skin

on your back.

from Poetry Northwest 05.1 Spring & Summer 2010More by Sierra Nelson from the library

Copyright © Sierra Nelson
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.