A Gift.

by Madeleine Barnes

Curled inside the body of a lamb is half the moon.
I see her kneel down beyond a splintering fence.
One friend has died, for now, at least—I’ve lost my whereabouts.
Inside the body of half the moon are seventeen eggs.
When the world comes to you this way, muffled though
irresolute flamelight, you must enter and refuse to leave.
Inside one egg, a parabola, a solitary winter morning.

Crouched in the stable one red colt wavers on thin legs.
What does he see from within the orb of his eye?
The deep terrain of the unperceivable track revolving
as he runs, record time.

Scintillate. Keep warm. Inside the black fountain of a crow’s
back I see maps of fragile questions. One friend has gone
without leaving an address, training himself to paint outside of school.

Nested on the edge of a mountain he found a lateral vision
of what remains outside of time. Inside the bare armor of skin
the sun has burned me deep enough to reach him.

My friend is trapped inside the entire arrangement of this web,
his body wrapped into one thin point. When it trembles
it asks questions: Can you bear the indivisible light?

And then it answers for us: yes, we are connected by the gift
itself, the endless ability to see.

Madeleine Barnes is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in creative writing and fine arts. She was the recipient of West Virginia University’s Hungry Poets Prize (2012), an Academy of American Poets Prize from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, the Borders Open Door Poetry Prize in 2009, and the Princeton Poetry Prize in 2008. Her poems have appeared in places like The Rattling Wall, Open Thread, Oakland Review, Weave Magazine, North Central Review, Three Rivers Review, Collision Magazine, Allegheny Review, Albion Review, 5AM, and Plain China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s