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“[White Noise],” “Sonnet,” “The Myth of Space Travel”

[White Noise]

an anagram poem

now the thin twine
sews its nest into sinew
into swine

I witness two newts
hoist noon with shoe ties
into hot eons
with hens who shine

in town the wise hostess
stows white sheets within
snow’s wet stone-hewn sheen

oh this wine
it is not sweet
it’s tin-ish with soot hints
see how intense

I insist
the sow’s honest twin
sent notes to the Sistine
then went west with new tents

so now I sit
on this site with two shins
ten toes with this nose
with teeth I won’t show

oh how these
senses swoon how I stew
in tense woe how I wish

to soothe this nonsense
to tow it with nets
so it won’t set




The Myth of Space Travel


The pelvis of the man I am sleeping with is made of curved metal plates, like a satellite dish.

He has a lustrous new core in his leg—titanium, which fabricates rocketships, smoke screens,
glasses, paint so pearlescent it’s nearly blue.

Some days he closes his eyes like too-distant planets, describes his pain like this:            white,

whiteness.       At the bed’s shallow end, his breaths become quick

icicle fragments, bone chips. No, I do not ask if he has dreams about the accident, whether it’s a
relief to wake up

in his skin, pale as opium milk. I don’t say what I love about violets: how they give you one
good sniff and then drown out your senses. 

We spend our twilights trying to communicate what neither of us feels, the limits of how far this

Along the ridges of his scars, freckles stretch themselves together into swirls, the way stars do
when they’re spinning on the edges of black holes.

Mag Gabbert is the author of the forthcoming collection "SEX DEPRESSION ANIMALS" (Mad Creek Books, 2023), which won the Charles B. Wheeler Prize in Poetry from Ohio State University and "The Journal." She is also the author of the chapbook "Minml Poems" from Cooper Dillon Books (2020), and the recipient of a 92Y Discovery Award, as well as fellowships from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Idyllwild Arts, and Poetry at Round Top.

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by Stephen Graham Jones