WHEN FOG, WHEN MOUNTAIN

Fall 2012: Issue 92

Lauren Moseley

So many cracks—

                               my window is always open.

Heat and cold,

                               electric saws, steeped ash leaves

and moths all drift in,

                               but what’s best is this:

the smell of a cloud.

                               As if a mountain grew

beneath my bed

                               while I dreamt of skyscrapers.

 

My train is now

                               a country train, cradling coal

through mist.

                               Here men masked in soot look

askance or long

                               for me to bring them babies.

Here my mother

                               endured five labors after me,

under moonshine

                               kept on a high shelf.

 

This vapor world

                               that knocks the glass—what has it

to do with me,

                               a woman of the valley who

would rather

                               the earth tower than kneel

before her?

                               I would marry it, but the cloud smell

is a cruel smell:

                               filling me with wanderlust, refusing

to touch my face.