Katherine Soniat

Out of the Sky Falls

the rented room and sofa with plants along
the window          Paintings of fish          golden and
open-mouthed hang on the wall that winter

An ice storm overturns tins of frozen seed

Birds do not eat

Still there is moving around to be done—
cardinal stiff on the snow at dawn
gone by noon

Looking through fern on the windowsill        I get ideas
fronds curling above the blue sofa
sunny flesh swimming the walls
spring lax
and folding in.

Consider How They Grow

—this same hill was rough, unkempt, and the grotto primitive

Declaring her heart a lily, a koi, an integral organ of earth, she turned
to the elders who stared as if she were mud for they ranked themselves

monolithic and complete. The oldest entities around.        So, of course,
she puzzled over such regressive insult to the mountains, their mineral-

riddled status. Like juts on Mt Rushmore, none of these beings would
crack a grimace. Some dangled dogma, others roped friends to the summit.

No one took note of the elegant gap between spin and toil—surface
dervish dance of the lilied field, then the toil from down to darker down

Vertical solidarity      Not a soul to copy or infiltrate      Three on the terrace
hold the posture of dawn—heart skyward      oracle of a green middle world.


Red wolf moon, packs of thou-shalt-eat
howl through the snow, overtake the sled,

rip fingers from a man’s hand (sinful
little fingers, at that—and wicked too those

juicy biblical parts made to be chastised). Script-
ure drools and rolls over for here come those

twitchy recurring regressions through sex, greed,
and bedlam till it’s back-to-wolf-You(too)-go,

O upright one, who at better moments thinks itself
first and foremost, especially while writing poetry.

Hey you over there      with the quick-silver tongue
and pink erasers, always wanting one more eternity?

Check out this forever and always—highlight those
spaces between two a.m. to six—fanged clips of dream

dread: those stuck on screaming bloody murder
scream some more, knowing how to fall from burning

towers. They fall for them, or leap. Chop go croc’s
timely antique teeth. Hour of the Baboon, one sage

named it. Dawn cocktails with the red-bottomed
and mad for more. Enter here to ravish any animal

puzzle that can’t complete itself. Wolfkin and spiritus
roast together at the stake, leaving you

(me/all of us) without blame. And with nothing
to blame, what else on earth is there to do?

Katherine Soniat’s seventh collection, Bright Stranger, is forthcoming from LSU Press in Spring, 2016. The Goodbye Animals recently received the 2014 Turtle Island Quarterly Chapbook Award. The Poetry Council of North Carolina selected The Swing Girl (LSU Press) as Best Collection of 2011 and A Shared Life won the Iowa Poetry Prize. Work appears in World Poetry Portfolio #60, Saint Katherine Review, Hotel Amerika, storySouth, Prairie Schooner (Waterfusion), and Connotations Press. Previously on the faculty at Hollins University and Virginia Tech, she teaches in the Great Smokies Program at UNC-Asheville. www.katherinesoniat.com
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.