For Ann Hodges, History’s Only Known Meteorite Victim
Then the winter daylight shook you to sleep, though what unfettered breath
is there to find when you can only resign to small amounts of dreaming,
when all is collapse, and the dark, lost energy that binds the galaxy’s edges
doesn’t seem so far off because your lampshades are knocked sideways
with all the rudeness that resembles a truth about ourselves–
Ann, I wish cool rags for your ribcage, for sleep to come on quickly
in perennial naps where you dream of a closeness that does no harm,
because there is too much to piece back together in the bombed out cathedral
ceilings of our eyelids alone: the tiled portrait of St. Francis shattered earless and void
of brow but still trying to talk and touch life back into the living.
You searched for that gentle language, for a waking that is absent of wounds
the size of pineapples. I’ve searched for it too, in the way the wild oak rolls
and parts like rip currents in a red morning storm, let the oatmeal grow cold
watching for reassurance that my little A-frame roof might hold
now that I’ve found a home and shingled it shut, but its gutters always point
up toward Cassiopeia’s jeweled arteries, to dove down floating by,
and Ann, there’s never enough time to watch the sky with the ones we love,
with the ones we don’t love, to understand the movement of arrival, of cutting
open, of clearing away, to reach for the forearm of a familiar stranger.
Alyssa Jewell studies poetry at Western Michigan University where she served as assistant editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and is currently poetry editor for Third Coast. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2016, Chautauqua, Cider Press Review, The Columbia Review, Cumberland River Review, Dunes Review, Fifth Wednesday, Grist, Meridian, Painted Bride Quarterly, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review, among other journals. She lives and teaches in Grand Rapids.