THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


Three Poems

by Sienna Giraldi & Will Weatherly

Illustration by Isabelle Rea

published April 20, 2018


into its own fixless

dew-thighed-today i set out to find my missing vowels

 

with me i have only the things you bring to picket fences, to human scenes

 

and some movements not yet tender

and some ridges each too frayed

and some cupped hair all too harsh

 

and only one conjoining feature

 

and flowers and grasses

and the little-hooped-man who raised his head to swallow me whole,

look at me like a charming motif

until i rose full size as a wall decoration

 

for him i am figure-of-eight

for him i am of a bull’s hide

for him i am a signet

 

and yes, i am presumably made of matter

presumably a signet

presumably just a warning

 

that before the dismal disaster i set out, swollen and waiting for the worst to happen,

for the sound of sliding boxes. for knowing

 

that grey is synecdoche for age

shrinking for hurt

and smiling for end-state

 

yet still asking if this is it.

if this is where i shout into the open mouth of the sea’s lapping hurrah and yell

thank you thank you thank you thank you

 

on the day i accept love’s tepid tide, i still shudder

and watch wood stretching in summer, sucking power from its mold,

waging indistinct

and still it’s the most innocent gesture

 

keeping the body upside down

feeling blood flood the throat

hearing the body rev its engines saying,

im right beside you and alone is some sensation so im all around you

 

    SG

 

 

SIGN AND SEAL

Three years later, the question of remains:

can my body be the sign that I survived?

Asking after the distance between how and why

men split lives, between means and ends,

a life thrown toward their convergence.

 

One hopes that pain makes nothing,

that history does not deign

to produce us. And yet we seek

that which endures, and in doing so,

speaks its listening.

 

This desire is the imperative

to make an incomplete world.

We cannot take each other

as the seal of what

we have failed to know.

 

I would like my presence to say:

“Though the two of us have lost

both origin and destination,

there is no parallel, no recurrence,

there is space outside of living.”

 

Denegation of: “It is happening again,”

marking the time I have spent

waiting for my brother’s child,

traveling forward and sideways

with the movement of the night.

 

    WW

 

 

A TEST

“This is only a test. If this was an actual emergency, you would be supplied with additional information.” I watch the birds rise with the noise. For them it is a total sound, air waves landing on their bodies without conversing. If I put my head to their chests in flight, the test might speak to me with this sound. This proximal speech is not my knowledge, but my claim.

 

I inherited a lithograph of an open plain from my grandmother, printed by a man named Oren Johnson. It is hung in my room. I am waiting to ascribe some scrap of language to it, but somehow I have never found the right. Two shapes enframed: almost ground, almost sky. Oren on the plain and spinning, watching a continuous line. When he stops, the line changes. One could say this place has two horizons, the stretch of the land and the limit of his view, and in my room, one hangs without the other. The frame is the part that speaks Oren’s claim.

 

Somewhere I am speaking, and my words are immanent. This is my loneliness: this ripple of air, this emergency unclaimed.

 

    WW