Over Dinner
    Katherine Towler
Water glasses tell of the struggle, whispering
suggestions -- take a feather of hair, braid

the fire of eyes. We could dance, a ballet of palms,
empty bodies held to the same wind.

We could shout at the chandelier. Tiny people
cross the window glass, faces fastened

like buttons. They wheel over a black sky
where empty plates do not fall, the shells of ideas

do not litter the floor -- but there is no escape
in the act of vanishing. Shouting or whispering, we walk

a faultline to tomorrow, acrobats of the unsaid.
The ground does not even tremble.

On Knowing When To Take Another's Hand

    Katherine Towler
If there is a dance, it's the awkward
two-step we make down the walk, turning
among the crowds of shoppers.

You take the maple branch and twirl
a brown arm, lavishing praise
on the silent lady who will always be your partner.

Wet you say, tongue held to air,
asking us to become children again
in the dizzy light of snow --

the book we write is a book of hours
where the fretful life of the sparrow
keeps starting and stopping.

You wanted a collection of dreams.
I have kept them, hoarding
fear, sugar to precious to eat.

On what should we feast, dear one?
Darkness is a banquet, the quilt
is spread over the grass, and whatever

falls is a mirror with two sets of eyes.

Katherine Towler is the author of Snow Island, a novel, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title, a Borders Original Voices title and a Book Sense 76 pick. A freelance writer and creative writing teacher, she lives in Portsmouth, NH, where she is working on volume 2 of the Snow Island trilogy and writing poems.


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