Skip to content →

Magnitude Aunt Lydia Does Stretching Exercises

A soft sweet cheese they make for daily bread,

and in the vat of milk and rennet set an egg,

to tell them when it’s done. While they’re

feeding the chickens or sowing corn, the whey

congeals in streaks and superstring curls.

Rifts develop, curdy lumps,

and gases congregate in spirals;

the smell grows desirably rank as elements

thicken into earths and metals,

and when our unhatched robin-blue planet

sinks, this batch will be ready.

Or maybe enough dark matter exists

for turning out firmer cheese,

a dark dark marbled Swiss with black holes

and delicious veins of stardust forming

from windborne impurities, along one of which

our Earth is a fleck of blue mold.

Maybe they wrap it in burlap, so

the rim of this universe bluntly prints

a coarse fabric weave on the next one.

Think of the milch cow they keep, its size,

the heat of its flanks, the weight of its hooves,

think of the one who comes to milk her,

whistling square roots, perhaps, or wave functions,

think of the breadth of space in the swinging pail.

And think how you’ve nonetheless fit the whole barn,

for a minute at least, in your head.

from Debt to the Bone-Eating SnotflowerFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Lindsay
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sarah Lindsay

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.