First the forces: gases, heat and radiation;
stars. We are stardust
sing the physicist and bard.
We are quartz and bats and roses,
we are poetry: Rimbaud, Blake.
We’re fugue of Bach and Glass; Celan.
World gets into us every breath.
Yes to every sentence.
I held to the imbecile cord—till it ripped.
When the diagnosis arrived,
we flew to a city of history and art,
visited galleries, stood before works
that made a life seem timeless.
The paintings I looked at longest were the Turner
waterscapes: ships and mists, conflating waves—
wild violets and yellows, flaming greys.
Creaturely chaos. Suns, the seas.
And in my mouth: the froth.
Elana Wolff ’s poems have recently appeared in Event, Prairie Fire, CV2, Canthius, and The Antigonish Review. Her essay, “Paging Kafka’s Elegist,” won The New Quarterly 2015 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest and has been chosen by Tightrope Books for The Best Canadian Essays of 2016.