sarah j. sloat

Spinning the Vines

morning comes with tea-brown birds that pivot
at lilies that twirl like Singer needles
beaks swivel like rivets building
“building what,” you ask

building nothing in the wind’s fluidity

no song but zish zish to admonish ignorance
sepia birds, teardropped lean
never seen to touch
the ground

Snooze Button

If all the nine-minute intervals
provided on your watch
were lined up there’d be no knowing

where we’re going –
to Prague, perhaps to paradise,
anywhere but up and shuffling.

O sleep redeemer,
you hunker atop the clock like a promise

I made to myself
to duck and cover, not to raise
my hand at the first trumpet of command

but to join the covert
warding off the largest star

as if this weren’t a counting down
and brevity were not a flaw

as if I could keep to my woolen crypt
convinced I’m yet unfit

to live and I didn’t know that life
like death someday
may no longer be delayed.

Boone Hall

I try to follow the lecture’s line
of reasoning, but end up
wayward, and without thinking

begin to ink in all the o’s
the handout holds,
like clouds that bloat black

with rain when they’ve had it
up to here with drifting.
Storm performed, I drop

into the bellies of the p’s
and b’s, which my pen
impregnates diagonally.

In the sterile calm of the hall,
the q’s and g’s fog up
like opera glasses in the thick

of a tragic scene. I load
the chambers of the a’s
and they reveal themselves

as live grenades, pins pulled,
while d’s stagger, afoot
like upright vacuums

off to gather what remains
of mystery. Last I climb into
the narrow attics of the e’s,

so many that lay hidden
spring from the sheet, winking
with dark, unscientific theories.

Sarah J. Sloat keeps a blog at The Rain in My Purse. Originally from New Jersey, she has lived in China, Kansas, Italy, and Germany, where – so in love with umlauts – she remains. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, Linebreak and Juked, among other publications. When not out walking the dog, Sarah can often be found riding the subway, or making a mess of her desk.