Claire Wahmanholm

Compass-       less,

our here

was an everywhere, was one little room —              an atom blown open

into an infinite net

with us always

at its center.


a while the sun was our bellwether,

then it was sequences

of clouds,       then a sparrow’s wing arrowing

east across a field, propelled

toward infinity without ever reaching it.

                                                                  We were lost, cast

like chaff        into an undefined wind.

We spun in

circles through empty lozenges of farmland, spellbound

and blur-eyed as the grass rose

like a wall before our

hands again and again,         uniform in every direction, margin-


        We spun until we felt our blood pull, centripetal,

into our cores,              until we were an orbit, a ring tightening

our everywhere

into a tiny, incalculable frontier.         Then set adrift,           aloft,

a molecule of the wind’s howl; an owl’s afterfeather landing along-

side a wet field of foals; shells

quietly crumbling into their surrounding seas —       always

less,     loss.

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