Two Poems by Chelsea Dingman

Museum Nights

I touch your shoulder into sleep.
You snore under the weight of history.
We wake & promise to polish

memory. Bathe the moon.
Render the child. Empty the caskets.
Place the morning in order

among its predecessors. Coax
the past into a clearing as it shudders
in the woods. Create love

where none lives. Store winter
in boxes. Forgive light
when lust flags. Betray each other

by dying. Slowly, or violently.
The morning, mewling next to rain.
The clocks emptied of blood.


The point in the text where it turns.

Lightening in the hallway of the body.

Another day entered into as if the world might end.

But, of course, this only means snow.

Will anyone recognize the sky when spring emerges

with a sport fishing license & fish heads for jewels?

The slaughter of leaves scattered on the wind.

Where an exit used to be the child. The lover. The lit wick.

Where the moon hides half of itself in another morning.

And tomorrow: white fields. White sky.

Whereby, someone is left & someone is still

left & someone is still.

Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second poetry collection, Through a Small Ghost, won The Georgia Poetry Prize (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website: Twitter: @ChelsDingman

Banner: Form / Foreground, A Digital Artwork by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2021. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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