PoetryIssue 15 | June 2012

Views from Above

by Corrina Bain

I tell my friend that I cannot
stop writing about your mouth.
That no matter the terror or war or issue
I sit down to think about,
your mouth is there, moments after.
And my friend says that for him,
(he is not in love with anyone)
it is always the sky. When he wants to write something
but the mind has fits of wandering or laziness
instead of latching onto someone,
        his mind goes up.

I try that, for a while. The difference
between the sky out in the mountains
velvet deep, with the stars’ hard nips of light, insisting
and the sky in the city, a veneer. Gray sheet of newsprint
with pinpricks, how the riot of earthbound light bleeds it
dry. I think of depth and shallowness
        and your mouth.

The way you looked at me
when I put my hand into it.
How it felt as though I could keep going, forever, into
the sky with birds circling, their wings spread and
trembling inside you. In your throat, which science
would call a small, red aperture, I stumbled
into a summer night. Stars heavy and silver,
so close and humid
it seemed they could be plucked.
Qualities of light and permanence.
Nothing that you see is really yours.

Map of the world from space at night,
how dark are the poor countries. In our homeland, so
many lights, how it looks like the sky,
galaxies clotting heavy on the coasts
other places nearly bald with darkness.

Messages we believe are hung there. Pictures
of heroes and animals.
Pictures of
        monsters and brides.

About the author

Corrina’s work has appeared in Muzzle, PANK, Union Station Magazine, in the anthology A Face to Meet the Faces, and elsewhere. Recently, he accompanied the performance art group The Femme Show for some of their East Coast tour. He has lived in Mozambique, and once went to a strip club in Canada where one of the girls poked his eyeball with a nipple.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok