Heather Christle

Heather Christle is the author of The Difficult Farm (Octopus, 2009), The Trees The Trees (Octopus, 2011), and What Is Amazing (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). She is the web editor for jubilat and lives in Western Massachusetts.

The Seaside!

This is a wall of great intensity and furious
it kind of hums yellow and hums
green and never shall it hum purple Captain
when will you relieve me The wall
I love at night is huge and warms me
like a caterpillar or bag but do I also
have a family Captain or is the wall
the only shelter I have known and furious
why and humming brightly why Why
is all the beauty in the wall and not
in me Captain and in you Captain you
are studded lines of buttons That is
some finery! Whereas my outfit is it
like a prison with the dimmer switch
turned low No my outfit is nothing
the dimmer switch to nothing But
I can tell you things I’m not a piece of foam

An Activity

There is a quilt and he is beneath it and some light
comes down through stitches He can see that it’s man-made
Can see his knees and hands and belly and by the light
he knows the night lies in the future just as he lies
on the floor The quilt holding him together like skin
and warm and also with a soft all-natural light He thinks
from above probably he appears a rough organic form
Kind of casual like a canoe that’s been attached
to boulders or casual like an island Like he is rising
from the floor and someone will maybe discover him soon
Give him a name and go away and tell a soul or two about it
How he was there and the quilt was there Empty young
and quiet like a prison yard when breaks the afternoon

How Like an Island

How like an island we are in love encouraging
moss & like an island we are barely moving Just
to exist takes much concentration & like an island
in love we have a house in our two imaginations &
they intersect It strengthens the house & our feelings
Unlike an island we wake up An island never sleeps
That is its duty & ours to remain in love barely moving
We do not want to disturb the house Do not want it
to fall into the ocean that is always so nearby It surrounds
us & is moving Like an island the ocean does not see us
or care why though we persist in loving it at one rate
or another & are waking close together in the dark