Janet Norman Knox
POEMS x 4
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HARD CLEANING
The windows plastered
your sheets, not towels.
spring cleaning after glacial
to grow into. Comforters
Garments like wearing Pillows
Come to Eastlake Cleaners
Bird warbled to bird, overheard,
Now twenty pairs
Joo-Eun, Silver Pearl
She will dust the parking lot with gilded grain. Here
at the door to Eastlake
wels like pearls.
They understand as one
BELIEVING IN BIRDS
Let's run through that again. In plain language, she steps out
of the door to Eastlake Cleaners, and is swarmed
This is not Hitchcock, no flights of fancy. This is not a thaumaturgy. This is not
A halo of wing surrounds
a feathered symphony. Do I report this to the local Department
of Miracle Control, tie small prayers
with blossoms? Shall we petition to canonize her for gifts to lowly workers who do not sing.
We hear them crying
A YEAR PASSES LIKE A SNOWFLAKE
falling into a lake a moment
(waiting for moon)
to join thousands of liquid years
(to rise through tree trunks)
by snowflake each your face
(moon in the wrong part of sky)
itself tatted by hand every expression
(where it has never been before)
your face on my skin melts
on INSTRUCTIONS...: Keeper of the cleaning codex, my mother hangs the wash in the bitter cold wearing a mink "only reasonable use for it" coat, sublime ice to vapor. Call when in laundry quandary.
on MURMURATION: A study in plurals. A quote from Paul Wilner's Serious Business (Paris Review) memorized in 1976.
on BELIEVING...: We, the people, believe rather fervently in many things that are not amassed in the power structures of major world religions, hiccup fortune 500s.
on A YEAR...: "Without A Bird" and "Landing Under Water, I See Roots" by Annie Finch and "Ask Me" by William Stafford.