ISSUE 8 FEATURE

TAXONOMY OF THAT NOVEMBER
Heather Christle

Then was an animal I could not identify and that also I lived with
In performing our daily headcount I noticed Then’s skull
was shaped like a tiny cloud and yet I said nothing
I fed Then some hay and we were feeling wretched
in the blue pantry and at night we could not dream
There was a war on but still I got dressed
beneath the towering stars and no moon
According to the chore wheel I should have been sweeping
According to science we should have been dead
I knocked on Then’s teeth and they were not hollow
like the sun was and I wrote it on my list
We enjoyed the taste of saltwater and baseball
we enjoyed on the radio in daylight
in a blue room that grew off the hallway
We were happy and wretched and cloudy
and setting fire to everything for warmth

 
 Photo by Zach Schomburg

Photo by Zach Schomburg

Heather Christle is the author of What Is Amazing (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), The Difficult Farm (Octopus Books, 2009), and The Trees The Trees (Octopus Books, 2011), which won the 2012 Believer Poetry Award. A new collection, Heliopause, will be out in spring 2015.