The clock here is quiet

 

   so you make ticking sounds with your tongue in the roof of your mouth. You dissolve

hours like a mortar and pestle, all grain and rub; a lesson

 

on how space teaches time.  What do you call awe that doesn’t know it is awe? 

You walk outside and everything

is the exact color of the sky. Trees aren’t solitary, you know—

 

they can keep the stump of one felled alive by sharing nutrients through roots,

they can bend and bow to make way for saplings, they can poison each other without

 

meaning to, without ever knowing they die. The ticking sound is also a way to call

an animal—the difference is in how you hold

 

your lips. The climate is changing.

Somewhere on a mountain, the trees are saying to one another

 

follow me  follow me

follow me




As a Question

 

 

        there was a rope swing

and white hydrangea trees

 

blue sheets on a bed

it’s the day your mother dies

 

again   each year we see one another

less and less   I open the door

 

and snow moves across

the floorboards

 

I want to say something like

   I never left      but in my new life

 

I try not to lie.

 

the cold rustles the dog

and he turns in his sleep

 

you turn your palm up finally

still as a question

 

and here is where the curtain

parts     the light that falls

 

over itself   we don’t bother

to ask

 

where the recycling goes

we just take it to the curb

 

like faith

 

clean and emptied





SOPHIE KLAHR and COREY ZELLER have been writing together for seven years, though they’ve only met once. Sophie is the author of Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books); Corey is the author of You and Other Pieces (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and Man Vs. Sky (YesYes Books). Individually, they’ve been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Their collaborative work appears or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Passages North, Four Way Review, The Shallow Ends, The Rumpus, and Sixth Finch. At present, mercifully, they live in the same time zone.

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