June 2017, Issue #5
Making Kin: Part II

Sheryl Noethe

Dimly Lit Ballrooms

1. The Dark Matter
Women in white dresses dance with men
in black tuxedos across dimly lit ballrooms.
All you see are the whirling skirts of spinning gowns,
but you are aware the partners are there.
Non-reflective fellows who reveal nothing known
They have their reasons, I’m sure.
One thing we know—
They cannot stop waltzing.

2. The Future
The past, bound to Euclid, follows right-angles and rules to a T —
Meanwhile what’s coming ahead splits time like a bed sheet
and peels off a few more secrets turns the lights on and
Like sugar, crystallizes into the now like water into snow—
only it’s not from the cold, it’s the lensesur eyes, only hesitating.
You may find yourself standing beneath a Hokusai painting:
Giant waves: curve of the underbelly, crest and peak,
Sprays of foam and a fisherman’s tiny boat perched
Atop a breaching whale.

3. Black Bodies
Theoretical, approximated by a hollow sphere,
Absorb all incident radiation and reflect none.
They do not shine. They are full of what we don’t know.
We have many such people lying on our streets.
They are a barely noticeable presence
the only evidence dense blasts of gamma rays.
In our cities we have no problem simply
Stepping over them
Once on the street I saw a woman dressed in hefty-bags,
I saw a naked woman begging.
Everyone passing was already late for work.

We ask them to jump over their own shadows,
or drag them
behind.

Notes:
There is the unseen kinship of matter and antimatter, and the lack of human 
perception that we, too, have our own dark matter which is unknown 
yet carries a huge gravity. We see what we choose in the light, 
while the greatest volume is in what we don’t/can’t/won’t see.


Sheryl Noethe

Noethe is the founder and artistic director of the Missoula Writing Collaborative, which sends published writers into classrooms throughout Western Montana. She was Montana’s Poet Laureate from 2011-2013 and has published one textbook and four collections of poetry, including her latest As Is. Her 5th grade teacher handed her a script for life by insisting that she make writing her life work. She writes: “Here at my desk at the foot of Mt. Jumbo I can hear the geese flying overhead, wings cranking like paddle wheels.”


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