Lantern Review | Issue 9.1

Bethany Swann

I pass through the blue
focal planes, a scene of desire

Title from Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s “The Star Field”

A year sheds its velvet down to the bone We rev up the space heater
to lose a sense of agrarian numbness

Snow blocks the skylight but you can still hear the cardinals roar, a bloodletting
through radius of pine

It might have been afterward I felt coins pouring
like raiment through my ears the sun dialed down to zero

When you’re asymptomatic, they sayevery gemcut opening veers
toward you:such horizons extend
to you who have always been emerald

The wind farm spins mythology of sugar & artifice runoff from the paper mill
bloats the trout lipsyncing

through rhizomes of kelp zebra mussels become infidels at the local level

Back at your parents’ house

bathroom tile with pastel flourishes
a wicker basket in the shape of a swan

(your ancestors added an N
to our last name so as to distance themselves from the waterfowl—but no matter)

plenty of oyster knives on hand in the greenhouse
a Monet in 5k pieces
to stave off boredom

Your aunties couldn’t save the holidays so we toasted
the Christ child swaddled in textured compression
mulled wine & cardamom

How joy might occur as candlelight
touching down
on a cheekbone

Photo of Bethany Swann Bethany Swann is a PhD student at UPenn focusing on Asian American studies and contemporary poetry/poetics. She is a Kundiman fellow and the regional co-chair of Kundiman Northeast. Her chapbook Diadem Me was published by Miel Press in 2014. • Photo by the author.

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