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Claudia Grinnell: Two Poems
This Idea of Order | The Falcon

This Idea of Order

It's not enough to sort socks
into light and dark
so colors don't bleed
into undefinable gray

or to cancel the division
between seeing and knowing
when you come back
from this world or that

exchanging kisses, breath
for breath, as if they
were liquid air.
You know these waves

always crash into those
harbor walls. Arrival as
always, one burning lamp,
and a bottle of burgundy

for the guests. Welcome,
we live for the bread
and tomorrow. At the end
of the year, when the

coastline closes in, almost
terrafirma, you may reach it
and never know the fine poison
under wet trees. Only roots

hold together cement, streets
blend into another dirty
morning. I breathe your hair
under old constellations

but summer did not follow spring
this year. Winter rolled
through and conquered the land.
It is unwise to talk about it.

Whatever else happens, calves
collect in the slaughterhouse
and swallows drift south.
A man wearing no shoes

enters the confession box
and never gets up again.

The Falcon

He doesn't miss flying,
he says. In fact, he likes
nothing better than
sitting on his ladder,
unmoved, unmoving. It means

nothing to him
to stuka through the air,
hurling himself at furry things.
He can't remember
why or for what

he should use his wings,
other than to tuck his head
under a tip perhaps.
And he positively doesn't
want to be reminded of dead

mice. Air acrobatics
and adventure bore him,
so that now, if you
don't mind, he'd like to turn
a deaf ear to the blood's siren

call and sit
still on his wooden bar.

Poet's Biography:
Claudia Grinnell was born and raised in Germany. She now makes her home in Louisiana, where she teaches at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Her poems have appeared in various print and ezines, most recently in such places as Exquisite Corpse, Hayden's Ferry Review, New Orleans Review, Mudlark, Janus Head, and Blue Moon Review. Her first full-length book of poetry, Conditions Horizontal, was published by Missing Consonant Press in the Fall of 2001.

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