Post Road Magazine #8

Good Science by Stephanie Pippin

Judging by his letters I'd say this
Is a man who knows
Something of wings & extinction.

On the edge of spring,
Even before the flowers
Can rise & pucker like scars,
He names me Lonely.
What spine, what good
Science takes him far from my alchemy
Of locket & rosewater?
Here we go on thanking
God the island's small.

I wear this weave of him,
Hair at my wrist closing me
Off like January's clench

When the water rolls,
A god's eye, under ice.
What portents I decipher

From these creases.
They smell of fair weather.
They smell of jungle.

I dream of his fingers probing
Deep in the moist soil.
His hands hold orchids, hold

A nest of speckled eggs.
I write back to say—
I will unlove you, tenderly,

The way your birds learn
To unlove this ground
& leave it amazed •

Stephanie Pippin holds a M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis where she is currently a Writer-in-Residence. Her poems have appeared in Hayden's Ferry Review, Lyric Poetry Review, and Ploughshares.

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