A Clearing

A new poem by Heather Christle.

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They don’t know why to lump it means to put up with  
something
but they know roughly when it began. Nimbus was the last

cloud name to arrive. In the beginning there was cirrus,
stratus and cumulous, the latter of which fell from

my child’s mouth the other day. I picked it up and
held it like a gift. There was a time when a pastel

hair rinse took women by storm. Then there was another.
I’d like a cloud to descend and contain me until everything

about me could change. About the hexagon there is
I think something French. Thoughts such as these would

get all rearranged. Or I could be conveyed briefly out
of my life via pneumatic tube. I wonder if, when

the plane lifted him up Orville could feel himself
disappear from the beautiful map. I don’t know where

comfort comes from, but I wish it to you in true
abundance. Its colours I suspect are blue, green, and gold.

Heather Christle is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Heliopause (Wesleyan University Press). Her first work of non-fiction, The Crying Book, has just been published by Catapult Books.

This article appears in the 04 December 2019 issue of the New Statesman, What we want

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