August 17, 2015 | ,

Dear Dome of Impenetrable Darkness

"Darkness" by Dave Sikes
“Darkness” by Dave Sikes

Dear dome of impenetrable darkness—

It is only fair
I give you some glimpse of my own birth:

that was the year the Andean volcanoes
sent England magnificent weather:

tides blasting against the shore,
light dashed across the sky, the slant

of rain coming down like a puppet’s strings.
Mid-August, a comet smeared the inky heavens

for eleven clear nights. Weather
has bookended my time before you.

My father called this icy slash my lucky star,
my mother called me her animal—

but they made an animal out of her.
My little nourishment clung, the placenta

breaking apart as if a small planet, earthbound.
I tore at her teat as Heracles suckled Hera,

pooling a halo of milk, leaving the doctors
to only think, perhaps too much milk, sequestering me,

giving her twin pups to lap and nip at her breasts,
drawing away the only thing left of my mother.



Valerie Wetlaufer is the author of Mysterious Acts by My People and Call Me by My Other Name (Sibling Rivalry Press). She is the editor of Adrienne: a poetry journal of queer women. She’s a professor at Kirkwood Community College. More can be found at Work from this sequence is forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly, Yellow Chair Review, …

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Molly Sutton Kiefer is the author of the lyric essay Nestuary as well as three poetry chapbooks. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as The Rumpus, Passages North, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Harpur Palate, Ecotone, The Collagist, South Dakota Review, & Fiddlehead Review. She is founding editor of Tinderbox Poetry Journal and …

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