The blue noonday sky, cloudless, has lost its old look of immensity
Note: there has been some speculation about the state of the sky—
whether it is an infinite mouth dragging its gasp across us
or whether it is a tent
or whether it is there at all.
When it is a mouth, we shoot its white teeth down.
When it is a tent, we slit its skin to let in the rain.
When it is not there at all, we rank the shades of nothing according to their hue:
falling through the ocean
When the sky is not there at all, we pound stakes through our shoes
to keep us close to the ground.
We wrap our windows in tarp so we are not tempted
to smash the glass and let the aftersky suck us outward
like marrow from the bones of our houses.
Black at noon, black in the afternoon.
Black hailstones fall from somewhere and melt invisibly in the yard.
The grass fattens with alien dew.
Claire Wahmanholm is the author of Night Vision, which won the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest. Her work has most recently appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Foundry, Fairy Tale Review, Winter Tangerine, Anthropoid, Paperbag, PANK, Saltfront, Birdfeast, Bennington Review, The Collapsar, Newfound, and New Poetry from the Midwest 2017. Her debut full-length collection, Wilder, won the 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in November 2018.