Alyse Knorr

Jane records her brainwaves for NASA’s Voyager Golden Record, 1977

I began in a cave chiseling buffalo on walls:
flint bangs sparks from stone and look!—the beginning of all

           —his voice startled by new love—

No, I began with a great ocean, voice through darkness
dividing heaven from sky, no, sky from water

            —his hands on my body separating me from sky—

no, start with the first cells dividing, evolution of bones and lungs,
land masses drifting to fill the gaps—but where to begin?

I am made simply, have walked this earth for 27 years only
and will have been gone for billions when you hear these

most private thoughts. Start with two in a garden, 
in a cave, in a garden in a cave, touching

           and touching until we make fire appear.

Jane and Then-Jane dance in their bodies

of a future optimistic

                                                          island inaccessible

when we became

                                                         dead comet husks
                                                         my copper mother

& shed ourselves
for the new season


I would build for us
a new society

                                                         leave me alone
                                                          to do my exploring

nothing to eat but fruit
bursting with cosmos

                                                         aluminum cocoon
                                                         glistens golden
                                                         all worlds all times

inside us the stars
turn to dust the truth is

                                                         spirit music
                                                         cosmic discourse

I am living I am alive
happy despite all this happiness

Alyse Knorr is the author of Copper Mother (Switchback Books, 2015), Annotated Glass (Furniture Press Books, 2013), and the chapbook Alternates (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, ZYZZYVA, Caketrain, and the Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2012), among others. She has completed artist residencies at the Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, and New York Mills Arts Retreat. Alyse is a cofounding editor of Gazing Grain Press and teaches English at the University of Alaska Anchorage.


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