Two Poems by Julia Whicker 




Halo at the horizon,
gloriole and spectrum voyager
and sun and moon:
spherical both, coronal light loops,
flat but leaping from the horizon
line, dusking, and sunrise.
Golden disc sent into
space, record voyaging space,
bridging, like our two hands can
not bridge, like words cannot contain
what a sound record contains
what is warm what is both sound and space.
Lover, you are the androsphinx
a radiation of washwater, ring halo,
hair like the Old Kingdom
and your body is humming
with the recorded music of Earth
when I am inside your body
when we are vortical spheres
together in helix.




*Carl Sagan. Actually, “But launching this “bottle” into the cosmic “ocean” says something very hopeful about life on this planet.”






You call
and ask me to drive
you two towns over
to buy a Ford Galaxie
the color of chromium
emerald throw up.
I am so excited—
I hear in
your voice the mountain
of optimism and
find I can climb
that mountain—
I may struggle to breathe
like a bird slackening
and tensing in a fist,
but find
sanguinity is like the choke
before coming when I
think I cant I cant do it
but I can.


Pick me up in your muscle
car and threaten me with
physical violence (swoon).
The stakes are not usually
as high as they seem.


Last night I dreamed you placed a tiny dinosaur in the freezer and I took it out and
it was not frozen except its forelimbs which were black and crumbling and I set it
free in the backyard of my childhood beneath the tree-swing where I lifted myself
on my stomach and pretended to be a flying horse and last night when I dreamed
of you,  your small dinosaur wobbled on the lawn    and I watched it go knowing it
would return,  larger,  to devour me and you watched it go knowing the moral was
to leave the dinosaur in the freezer—


today you are smoking and complaining about your hair your allergies how there
are no shorts in the world that fit just right but you are excited to grill anyway and
I have found


upon waking
beside you
that I am
true to my nature
even in dreams,
choosing unwise
compassion over
prudent calculation,
but I discover
in your theories
of self-preservation
not just the excavated
bones of ice-cave
logic or innocuous
selfishness but a
sharp and pitiless
like when I said
I could not help
but set it free I felt
such overwhelming
guilt a free-fall of
guilt I was built out
of bones and guilt

and you shrugged
and winked, you replied
Men contain evil
and women set it free

but we all must live
with our deformities.