Selected Poems | Carrie Nassif


stillness wafts
bell tones
like raptors
from down drafts
open arms
gliding overhead
three chords
like fingered wing tips
swiftly opened fans
to prey

how we are haunted

the elements have only just uncovered
this partial jawbone
displayed now in your hands
a piece of whiteworn chalk
seeking slate

earliest of human sentiment
a mouthpiece
a fragment
a fertile rooting
sprung from arid sediments

a wafting hint of suckling
of tongues forming first words
chewing the seeds
of what’s been foraged
of what might be left

how our narrowing molars
once broad for grinding
now sharp and clenching
now incisive
now the very biting winds

unraveling our haunted pasts
like DNA strands spun from
chilly lambswool clouds
caught on the new buds
of late sleeping branches

the mercury of grieving

asleep amid salted, among the fallow
slunk between the marshes
she is a memory of gleaming
she is rising from the moss-softened
from her own rotted earth

her dream residue
sticky and warm tar on sweating timbers
she is a fading underleaf
a curling spiral stranded
her branches sidewindering

and those freight-train questions
she keeps pulling from her knotted hair
all discarded appliances
all landfill rubble
all metal-wobbled thunder

she is and she is and she is
the mercury of grieving
disarming buzzing wires with mittened hands
these ticking these self-mutilating prophecies
all mosquitos she’s still seeking

Carrie Nassif is a poet, photographer, and psychologist living in the rural Midwest. Her work can be found in Tupelo Quarterly, Yellow Chair Review, WordPeace, and several anthologies.