Rebecca Aronson

Sequence

Before the hand moved forward
other signals arrived, musical

in their way. In their midst, a kind of frenzy,
insect-like and radial; apparently

a quiet night revolts in such sonic
correspondences. In the meantime, talk:

your words were saucy and slightly blurred, not
by the wine or the late, long dinner, not

by the modicum of hydroponic
weed or the wailing, orchestral starshine,

not by the impossibility of
saying just what we mean, though I give you

that those conditions all apply; I don’t know
you at all, not in the way wires cross

too closely, making intimate sparks inside
the hard shell of their narrow container

until combustion melds them completely.
A cricket rubs wing to wing, sawing songs

from its one whole body and nothing ignites,
though the sky rotates its wide ear slightly,

as though considering something.

 

Soldiers

 

In another field soldiers betray their bodies,
though someone sends boxes of fingerless gloves

and someone is always saying to bring them home
or send more, and everyone says soldiers

and no one says bodies.
In the field I cannot imagine

and which is probably not a field,
armies are tearing at each other

in a choreography of disorder.
On the radio, a commentator describes

how battalions of ants skirmish over territory.
After each battle others emerge to clear the deck.

On a ship a friend once travelled on
there were soldiers returning in their uniforms.

He said they paced the boat’s length always on guard,

he thought, though perhaps they were only strolling.

 

Wendy XuRebecca Aronson’s first book Creature, Creature won the Main-Traveled Press poetry book contest and was published in 2007. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, the Georgia Review, Cream City Review, Cutbank, Quarterly West, and others. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.