Cassie Donish


on the morning of day two
we quivered where we’d fallen

beneath a green curtain

lit against the glass

on day three we wandered
concentric paths

with soft eyesand the syntax
of rabbits—let’s stick to
the beautiful

what part is not physical?
what part can’t be listed
with an eager mouth?

last night he poured half
his glass into my glass

what’s between an object’s
name and its attributes
is the object—and yet

is a face made of features?
is his face even physical?
I can’t decide

if I wish to leavemy desire
in this room or take it with me


New Theory

my new theory’s to make a boundary
between myself and the theory

then, between me and the boundary
to let a clouded region billow in, but to let
its shape be distinct: his face—

though the fog’s blood-filled
when I return, and I’d best
have a line for it

though I can tell the fog’s all upshot
though I admit it’s its mug I’m
holding out the window

to let a contained song bask
at the edges of the tract
but if it grow perceptible

to be emboldened to rein it in

the dusk has always been a horse in its own light


An M.F.A. candidate and Olin Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, Cassie Donish’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Sixth Finch, Jellyfish, THERMOS, Forklift, Ohio, and elsewhere. She is an editor of February, an anthology, holds an M.A. in cultural geography from the University of Oregon, and hails from South Pasadena, California.