December 21, 2020

Jessica Goodfellow

LOVE IN TERMINAL 3D

A feather’s architecture is a mystery
to a fish whose mosaic of scales would be-
fuddle buffalo. Alluvial allegiance & blue
swamp swagger, you could make your home
in time if place didn’t matter, but it does.
Ask anyone who’s been in a plane struck
by lightning, or a body blindfolded by eight-
minute-old sunlight. “Time and again,” my father
used to say & if what he meant by again wasn’t place, 
then what was it? The skin that comes between us 
like a scale or a feather, like a father or the weather, 
is it place or is it time, this foreign skin of yours, 
because I thought that it was place until it disappeared 
and then it seemed like time, as centerless as time.

from Rattle #69, Fall 2020

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Jessica Goodfellow: “This poem came from the exact experience you’d think it had: looking at a feather and wondering how it would be perceived by creatures who’d never come across a bird. I live in a country not my own; I don’t think this is unrelated to my errant thoughts.” (web)

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