Lori Lamothe: A Long Sleep
Image: Unsplash, downloaded (https://unsplash.com/photos/XexawgzYOBc) 09.04.2022.
At the American Philosophical Society
in the City of Brotherly Love
In this room of maps and glass
cursive names roam
extensive meadows full of buffalo--
the old world ink endlessly unfurling
its elegant, black flags
recording for fellow travelers
the long and barbarous names given these parts.
Conquest fades one word at a time.
So like a kind aunt
I'll call death a long sleep
and assure you someday the earth will wake
to create its own cartography
as men once recorded the angles stars made
when they passed invisible lines.
Some banded like Jupiter.
Some clear as air.
Some staring straight at us,
their red gaze
gouged from monster dreams.
I remember how you held them
worlds caught in a jar,
as you told the story of the German ship
that sank to the bottom of the sea in a war.
Sometimes I imagine those marbles
not safe in glass but as they were
when they fell through the sea
through all the lovely of green, of blue
to scatter across the sand’s dark universe.
Every unblinking eye
to stare at the light firing the surface
About the Author: Lori Lamothe's fourth poetry collection, Tulip Fever, is due out in fall 2022. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times and her work has been published widely. A former baker, policy analyst and security guard, her latest obsessions are NFT art, Victorian twins photos, box-brownie variations and flash fiction.