a Perimeter 3

Kate Colby

Three Poems


Broad Night

The only light is
all around—full

moon on each
ice-locked twig,

reflective mess
with brutal stars

in it. Love
is distance

its reaches
in your face

branching there.
Here chandelier

of dependent prisms,
what nimbus splits

into and joins it.



A wracked strand
of egg-sac entrails

cochlear seashells
I hold to my ear

what holds it here:
an ebbing at the center.

I have a white flag
built into my skin

to give in to what
I turn again—

Noah's wife watching
her friends float by

face-down in God-
forsaken flotsam:

cups, nets, nips,
syringes, what

the heart holds


Engine Light

I will say this much
for silence

to break it
is to know

what holds us
to the bone.

Broken down
on the road

from you,
red mist

of budding trees
a clump of

dead sumac, I think
to say the least.

Kate Colby's books include Blue Hole and I Mean, just out from Furniture Press and Ugly Duckling Presse, respectively. Fruitlands won the Norma Farber First Book Award in 2007. She lives in Providence.