poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Meltwater Coffee

He went to the tree with an egg and a match
and a paper cup when he couldn’t sleep.
He made a fire and melted snow in the cup and boiled the egg.

Autumn resolves to frost and then is quickly spent.
Soon my names will turn brown and fall off,
if I catch them in the kettle with some snow it will make a sort of coffee.

When you eat the bear, you will know the woods, he said.
He spent the night beneath the tree of wakefulness,
feeling awe for the wolves and feeding the deer.

My own deep sleep pressed down on the tall grasses
of his matted hair, making bright paths.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Margaret Fuller Goes Down

A dress that can stand by itself, a dress made out of tree bark
based on the life of source code. Tree as source
as the “real America” appears in my water glass, on my phone
as a prisoner of war. That’s why I have a strategic friendship

with that dress. I teach looms to weave tree bark
from 1’s and 0’s. What shall we erect in city centers
to memorialize the languages written quickly in the name
of human-computer friendship? We must use tact

as friends of machines. We must write the life
of that dress, write secrets at the center of the flower.
What is underneath the dress? Submission. Fidelity.
The examination reflects in the screen of my phone. I hesitate

before responding. There are silver horns hanging in lines
off the bark dress. What am I being prepared for? The curve
of the handle tells you what the pitcher was made to hold.
The dress is the question of friendship. The boots

beneath the dress are also made of bark, for the invisible girl: America
and her secret friends. They take things from the forest. Fawns
run from their scent. Their qualifications are impressive. They teach
the machines blooming love. Abrupt love. Teach suggestive songs

as legacies of immune systems are carried off in fleshy chunks: a sky burial
to feed a flock before or outside the world. The full force of collapse
cannot convince this dress to fold. My vulnerable feet suggest a subtle violence.
Who can teach the deer to dance and what is at stake?

The earth corresponds with animals and vegetables through minerals,
making it harder to break with our teeth.
Yes, I can eat that dress. Swallow that silver too.

Public documents reveal the code in the dress.
Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, it’s the story of a shipwreck:
it’s the salted skin of all the bodies that went down, holding their form.