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Mary Cisper


Listen to Mary Cisper read "All Its Words Being Metaphors:"

All Its Words Being Metaphors

Joshua Tree National Park

An hourglass of boulders, a lace of sun on the rough
grains negating the body’s soft cache, hand shadow on spark. 

If hollows mar a slope of rock for footsteps, the hum
of quartz abrades thought. At the expense of light

skulls suggest themselves, while the gray of creosote’s
bones grows sharp, keeps moving. When the shrub

fades, its shadow will stay. Wings spiral above the chute
reading the rock’s brusque face, and if a rope links

two hearts, what is it made of? The brown spotted wren
sings close, a bracelet of trills unraveling. 

Night’s subtle pins rival brightness, stories one wakes up to,
tethers. Because its words pour slowly,

it takes time to speak, the eyes of the stone being open. 
How little water the hand cups.



Mary Cisper's poems have recently appeared in Natural Bridge, Borderlands, Sow's Ear, and Santa Fe Literary Review. She lives in northern New Mexico.
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