then, sweeps
them loose, who diffuses

broken, shining bits, the farflung force
washed to foam on a rockface, succulents

and whelks alive inside
its razing spray? Who slings

the broth aslide in cups of ocean swell? Whose bolt
of lace, a great spill of it blowing

in the window with her pins, patterns the firmament, patterns
the phosphorescent body of an Eel making slip-knots

in the dark sea, patterns fireflies sailing
through grass at the edge

of a wood, lit—and unlit—at twilight, giving
body to the air,

or to some, brimming, being
—whose? Who?

From How the Universe is Made. Copyright © 2019 by Stephanie Strickland. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Ahsahta Press.