For the right exposure
shoot the gnarl,
tinker a light whirl.
Between subject and desired effect
shine extra moon.
In the warm pillowcase,
a clogged waterfall.
To adjust the cumbrous
press of [ ] doubt?
there’s a caffeine mountain,
some owls dopplering.
And geese dusky, geese white.
Darkening the new page:
black lines—a bird abacus—
waiting for sun to count wings,
to burn through.
Notable for not going
not able to
in the night’s eye
she pinches/ unpinches the loaves
of her thighs until
they scissor off
Each week strays howl their longing
into the room.
Looking down at this scene
from a skylight,
of someone lying on her bed
is merely someone lying
on a bed.
But give a nod to the way
the marriage of a particular with mirage
Dry-eyed, she is silent at his vault.
Nothing left to say or sift
yet every condolence left beside the bridge
deepens her color, her need to bridge
a span of one dusk, vault
from companion to widow who sifts
her hair for sea wrack, asks strangers to sift
the last of him, ebony-boxed, from under a bridge.
A handkerchief clumsy in her hand against the vault.
Will this vault, his residue of sift, allow her a full cup, or scant life, abridged?
Bio: Former urban girl digs dirt now. Oregon poet Quinton Hallett migrated from art administration to writing and has published work in numerous journals and anthologies. Recent work has appeared in La Fovea, Thresholds, Tiger’s Eye and her latest chapbook, Refuge from Flux, was released by Finishing Line Press (2010). She coordinates local programs for the Oregon State Poetry Association.