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Joanna Gardner

  

From the Vantage of the Patio

Midnight, a lone coyote’s aria,
   our edge-on view of the galaxy
twining across the sky.
   What does marriage mean

past photographs and rings?
   Shooting stars weigh in
as each of us exerts
   a curve on the night,

three blue troughs of gravity.
   Even though the air is still
a storm whistles through
   our bodies, a gale of dark matter

gusting with secrets spoken
   and held, invisibilities
that keep the Milky Way
   from flying apart. In wind like this

the holiness of being extends to blindness
   and delusion. But why would we
live in pools of the universe
   if not to let some clarity accrue?

  

  

The Shadows of Doubt

You tell me you haven’t a shadow of doubt,
You tell me you haven’t a shadow at all.
Mine is the shadow that’s cast by the clouds.

You sway back and forth when the messenger shouts,
You never make room for a wandering soul,
You can’t since you haven’t a shadow of doubt.

My fingertips bleed when I scratch at the ground,
I touch every footprint and tug at the veil,
Mine is the shadow that’s cast by the clouds.

I catch you adjusting your pre-emptive shroud,
You stare at the phone as you wait for the call
And swear that you haven’t a shadow of doubt.

They pass me the wine and the earth remains round.
If you are the rapture then I am the fall.
Mine is the shadow that’s cast by the clouds.

You’ve called to the sky, your feet left the ground.
I’ve carried my spear down a dimly lit hall.
You tell me you haven’t a shadow of doubt,
Mine is the shadow that’s cast by the clouds.

  

  

Joanna Gardner lives in New Mexico with two dogs and one husband. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Rosebud, The  Rose & Thorn, Reflection's Edge, Flutter, South Dakota Review, and others. You can visit her online at www.joannagardner.com.
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