Kerri Webster
from “Lake of Hours”


about the megafauna

Things grow inchoate when I close my eyes. So open them:
red dumpster and the redbud tree, how the pitcher-plant

drowns its prey, terra cotta earth, my soft nun-body—
coarse sheets, cheap underthings.

Inside the vanishing, women bump each other on the street.
Their bags-full-of-world make a tissue paper rustling.

I’ve been thinking about the megafauna.
Take the tundra horse. Take the secretary bird.

Leaves become trash and the invasive grasses are facilitated by our hems.
Thaw-water in clogged gutters, a fault line where I salt the steps.

The tundra horse, once real, is no longer among us.
Night says             galaxy            dryrot             distillation.

Night wobbles like a tilda.

Histology says I’m bruised but good.


if dizzy

Lakes are a palpable dark slammed shut but wavering.

I haul trashcans to the curb, pooled rain making heavy work.

If you have any questions,
if your back’s a downward slope,

if, in outer space, the gods are frail as glass,
if the little creature of intention camps out on your desk,
air unstitched to mess where doubt climbs in

and makes a hay-rough bed—
come to me.

Below bridge, below thick girders, below nest mess,
I dizzy here, knee-deep, undone.

Dirt-aproned, pink, looking makes it so.

Squash piles on my doorstep.

Acheweather, hello.

Hello milkdark riot.

The sky is wax paper.

I am rag paper,

membrane through which too much passes.



The bird has a sarynx, not a larynx.
Air a bitter switch that strikes the back,

I have no boat,

no crescent of lakewater lapping the lakehouse.

I have no lakehouse, what world is this.

I feel close to nature with ice water in my chest, fear’s wet nest.

I’ll etch on glass—
shallow mark, sharp tool.

Draw an arrow between want and lack, make a map of lack
and I’ve both killed a day and drawn a body.

In the dream of the white dog, a puncture wound;
slowly I made the ladymost sutures.



Many mechanisms protect us.
A house manufactures its own weather, a whirring, a barbarity.

And the ground eats phosphorous, and the ground is rich enough
for us—

late apples liquor in my yard.

Diatoms clog the straits.

What temple gardens yellow quite like this?

What stations do you miss,
god of eye-mote, god of spherework, god of flaw?

Something paces, muscles rigged.

Mayflies mass over the fountain, drown petaling the scrim of water.

Among wide weather the true lily of mercury, and the mica lily of loss,
and the torn lily wedged in the window track,

and the docent says the Lily Exhibition is closed for repairs.

This slipflow light is not enough.