Dawn Lonsinger

The Body is a Nest of Pins

The body is a nest of pins
to stitch itself to sky—

roughhewn hem that lets birds in and is still

prone to piers, lets drop anchor
after ghost anchor :: skiffly one—

The body is an animal, waist-caged
like a canary :: diagram of light                      and getaway.

The body is an untilled field shot
through with weed
and wild; time afloat in onyx
aperture :: eyes, tremulous night :: sight—

isles submerged in a darkened pond.

The body is the ideology of God :: joint and

and sparrows in chimneys to remind us :: permeable
is each thing, and we :: things

in which other things are repeated :: the whole
world caught in silver nets of tissue and re-erected :: forms
without form, but felt formly—

Echoes electrify our less hollow chests—sigh, kiss.

The body is a gathered curve collapsing
upon earth :: swoon or faint; Ravage as a way

of speaking— everything eaten
down to scintilla, anklebone, bolt.             Encyclopedic wind

roils into us, sings amorously of zero

in our glassy throats :: message
after message swallowed—

But maybe the body is most lace
:: S.O.S. from one universe to another :: or a confession—

blunder, love.

Copyright © dawn lonsinger, originally published in Crazyhorse Literary Journal (Spring 2013, Vol 83)

dawn lonsinger

A poet and essayist, dawn lonsinger is the author of two chapbooks: the linoleum crop (chosen by Thomas Lux as the winner of the 2007 Jeanne Duval Editions Chapbook Contest), and The Nested Object (Dancing Girl Press, 2009). Her full-length collection of poems, Whelm, won Lost Horse Press’s 2012 Idaho Prize in Poetry. Her poems and lyric essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Guernica: A Magazine of Arts & Politics, Columbia Poetry Review, New Orleans Review, Cincinnati Review, Poetry East, The Massachusetts Review, Subtropics, and elsewhere.

One of six children, dawn grew up in a working class family in the deer-streaked woods of Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia, not far from small towns with names too lascivious to mention, and is the first person in her extended family to go to college. Since then she has resided in places where water collapses into water like Ithaca, New York and places where quivering yellow dresses fall from bone branches such as Salt Lake City, Utah, and such distant brilliant designs as Italy, South Korea, Scotland, and Mexico. She holds a BA in English and Photography and an MA in English from Bucknell University, an MFA from Cornell University, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. She is Assistant Professor at Muhlenberg College, teaching courses in Creative Writing, Poetry & Politics, and Monstrosity & Apocalypse in Literature and Film.

This POW by dawn lonsinger is a staff pick from our 2014 Open Submissions pool of awesome reader-poets.