Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry

Bethany Carlson

The animation of stoves is in inverse ratio to the clemency of the weather

After Francis Ponge’s "Stoves"

In the winter, these stoves tick open their blue flames
oneby one. Easy

as ice, falling in points: a kind

of presupposition.

Suppose you study my icicled awnings & think,
O, sad trajectory of this human, human heart.

Suppose you wrap yourself in my afghan
& wish for common fireplaces.

Suppose we make soup with kale & potatoes,
feign shock at the crisp interior of roots,

their staggering bitterness.

Suppose we let our homes decay,
become Everglade. We move to Florida,

observe the disintegration of nests.

Some days I give my fingerprints away
in lumps of sourdough bread.

On others, I stand on the shore & watch
the ocean gallop into a bucket—

child’s play, all this.

Suppose the swamp creatures make you truly happy.

Suppose I pin a red seahorse to my dress,
& you cup your ear to its roar.