Alice and Jenny in Their Land | Alice Recalls Her First Meeting with Jenny


poems by Alyse Knorr


Alice and Jenny in Their Land

the gaps in the ocean
they cover with islands
and the gaps in the islands
they cover with sieves

this leads to a permanent
kind of friction
which pleases them

they who never expected
to find such play here

when their smoke goes up
over the ships
they speak gibberish
incantations to provoke
the gods they have made
and the gods they did not make

they have planned
which fossils to leave
behind but have not
considered when

they have not considered
the size of the urn
it will require to hold them

and each night
with Jenny coiled beside her
Alice makes small movements
in order to feel and hear
the way Jenny dreams

but when they wake
and Alice asks her,
Jenny says only this


Alice Recalls Her First Meeting with Jenny

On my way out of her house
that morning I took
a small gourd from a basket
on the kitchen table
and put it in my coat pocket.

All day ran my fingers over
its lumps and ridges, smooth
skin and orange-sheened knots
tucked in my pocket like
a brand-new formula,
key to a detailed, pulsing map.



Alyse Knorr