Six poems by Alyse Knorr

In Their Land

A man sells thousands of balloons on the shore
of the sea they have made. Alice buys them all.
Gives Jenny the pink ones and keeps the yellows,
lets the rest go easing up into the sky. Jenny says,
If I were an old building I’d want to be by the ocean.
Alice gives Jenny the yellow balloons.


Alice Sketches

a cartographic note   small memento
of a girl’s high ceiling      arched windows
cold of the bell tower   lacquered floors
spill into egg-white new carpet    soft
enough for a face   and under the latched
door two feet step out of one thing
and into something else


Later (August)

sky bereaves in its hot dark coat

cars in the lot huff ozone

checkers clatter the floor

one voice above the rest

all this noise, dear—

I can no longer hear you echo

Alice Wises Up 

No girl’s puppet, no puppet’s lips
when this could just as simply be a
gymnastic genocide, cloud-tarped departure,
caravan of blueprints leaving the scene
with me leading the way.

No no, this line of tape is not for me—
no ma’am, I can sight-read where
I’m headed and tell when someone’s
white-walling me— no, this captain says
she’s the pick and all others can please go


Alice Corrects Herself on Several Points

The river smelled very salty.
I shut myself up in segments, like a telescope,
and dove in.  Started swimming.

Now tell me, is this New Zealand or Australia?
Do cats eat bats? Do bats eat cats?
Have you ever tried to curtsy while
you’re falling off the earth?


Alice Begins

I could say poplar tree
I could say blue
I could say sparrow on a telephone wire
say tender-shingled roof
say citrus smell on my pillow
say snow
I could say wind chimes, two notes
I could say water
say warm bread
say skin

More poetry at Used Furniture.

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