August 2006

Laure-Anne Bosselaar


Laure-Anne Bosselaar Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (BOA, 1997) and of Small Gods of Grief (BOA, 2001), winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry for 2001. Ausable Press will publish her new poetry collection A New Hunger, in March 2007. She and her husband, poet Kurt Brown, have completed a book of translations from Flemish poet Herman de Coninck, The Plural of Happiness, which will come out this fall.
(Photo by Star Black)
At Savage River Lodge    Click to hear in real audio

Only the trees
            are raining now—

the storm passed
            through the forest

like a night shiver
            and was gone.

Out of the dark and into it, the August sizzle of crickets.

Wrapped in a blanket,
            I sit on the deck

of my one-room cabin.
            Twenty yards away, yours.

We're wise enough to know confinement sets us apart.

Earlier tonight,
            we feasted a friend

with other friends, the evening
            ample and kind.

I'm pensively
            dizzy with it, and would

probably have slipped into vague solitary considerations,

had you not turned on
            a light in your cabin

its glow barely
            visible through the low

branches of an oak. So I
            quietly tiptoed closer

to your window, bare footed
            on gravel and grass,

and watched you be alone, not four feet away from me.

Everything you did
            was unsurprising, familiar—

you already seemed
            distant, self-contained.  

And I suddenly felt
            I was no longer there,

while you went about your life without me.  

What else was there
            to do for me but to look

away, and walk
            back into the dark?



March Chimes    Click to hear in real audio

Day dithers, no wind or breeze, and light
so drab it could be dawn or dusk.

Winter recedes to nothing again, what's
left of snow dull. Silent sparrows, still pond.

I throw a coat over my shoulders, step
out. How barrenness weighs—

I pick up a stone, hurl it at the chimes.

Their song seeds the silence, ripples
skitter in the pond, sparrows prattle,

there's a breath caught in the highest tree,

and suddenly all this nothingness is alive
with possibility, like the day I knew

I was pregnant with you.  

And I remember it now—that void
inside me when nothing stirred, nothing

moved, my body between seasons, but drawing
trust from patience and patience from hope.  

                              for Maelle




this is the viscous heart I hide from you:
gnashing, polluted, hooked to my ribs
like a burr, stuck there and stinging,
and it’s only four fourteen in the morning.

Those sudden shudders my waking alarm,
then the daily discipline of shutting away that heart,
shambling through the house, touching things,
stroking their shapes as if it could help me not

be the Bad Sower’s daughter each morning:
the pit from a seed he sowed and left to parch,
and no crows would feed on it. So I lived. I don’t
want to explain this further, I’m done with it.

But this for you: on the days I touch your books,
read your letters, recall a gaze, the delicate
dangle of an earring, or the throwing
back of a head in laughter,

it’s you seeding the first beat into the heart
I open. And as the sun heaves daylight
into the parched tree by my window,
and rats burrow away, when pigeons come

down to feed on dust and pizza crusts, I thrum
the light syllables of your names on my sill with all
ten fingers, typing them firmly into the brick,
and counting their beats, counting their beats.



Laure-Anne Bosselaar: Poetry
Copyright ©2006 The Cortland Review Issue 33The Cortland Review