Sandra Simonds
[For it is the North Country]
New Poems From the USA

For it is the North Country
and it is always falling
back on the snow-
drift or a shift
of will and even the halls
of the boarded homes are branching
behind the boards
like switch-
backs that are veins.

When she breathes it’s hard
against the lowlight of his chest
and if she believes the heartbeat
is just another type of sleep
as seen from the other
side of the urging
on of dim days then of course
it’s hard not to feel
tacked to the end of your own

life but it’s also a seaside town
of reeds on air
and at the end of the avenue
an ocean of paper
lanterns, the hysterics
of moment gathering up
the light with wet palms raised
above the head.