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Transit of Venus

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
The actors mill about the party saying rhubarb
because other words do not sound like conversation.
In the kitchen, always, one who's just discovered
beauty, his mouth full of whiskey and strawberries.
He practices the texture of her hair with his tongue;
in her, five billion electrons pop their atoms. Rhubarb
in electromagnetic loops, rhubarb, rhubarb, the din increases.

From ]Open Interval[ by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Copyright © 2009 by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

From ]Open Interval[ by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Copyright © 2009 by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

by this poet

poem
pretty's just armor
something else

to wear like a dress or a name
not magic like skin

apparel apparent apparently
repellant pretty
don't draw

flies like
honey we just pretend

it does skin is

what draws you don't
believe me

just think skin flick 

the winter sky 
is not a skin you 
might fly right 

out
poem
He still exists as flesh; it's the idea
that's dissipated—: husband :—what was he?
But a word I loved? There is no panacea
for missing syllables: his body: we
all know what matter's mostly made of—: space
obtains—: One day I realized I beleive—: 
the space in everything is God: that force
of present absence: pen