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Rachel Contreni-Flynn: Gallery for Ice, Mouth, Song

The Physics of the Inevitable | The Trap | Failure in Small Spaces

The Physics of the Inevitable

My hometown mourns the farm boy
who kicked a cob stuck
in the combine's flywheel,
and I imagine his foot swinging   just as he was thinking
        I know better than this,
but it was too great, the weight
of his crusted boot,
not to follow through,
        And I think

of the Viking ship pitching
in its greasy groove all summer
at Lake Schaefer, and how the carny said
It don't hardly take any juice at all to run this ride
once set to rock, it just about
        went on its own.

And I've made love like this,
the whole time thinking
        how I wasn't,
the whole time my mind watching my body
as a thing in motion but not a mystery,
more like math — more like the arc of a burlap sack
tossed from Moots Creek Bridge,
than the heavy spiral
        of rocks and cats.

The Trap

I bite my fingers viciously —
soon I'll eat away
                the bull's eye

of each print
and no longer be
                a frantic raccoon.

Once free, I'll ease into camouflage,
a cool green kind
                of nevermind.

But for now I sit around
with little red flags
                of myself in my mouth.

Failure in Small Spaces

Solace is holding

a cake of soap or a potato
in your hand.

saying This is thick and basic,
and I need it


— except we were dancing
and dropped each other —

— except we held our own hands
in misery and prayer —

— and you work at night
to eat the next day's food —

— and I burned the furniture
for the pop of varnish —

— then we spit on the wood stove
and called it forgiveness —

that little spin and whiteness.


Now our bodes are animals
in a wet cage, sleeping.

waiting for night to come,
for logs to hiss behind an iron door. . .

The stove reflects nothing
but that's to be expected —

the stars are wooden,
our faces are in them.

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"The Physics of the Inevitable," "The Trap," and "Failure in Small Spaces" appear in Ice, Mouth, Song (Dorset: Tupelo Press, 2005). 2005 by Rachel Contreni-Flynn. Reprinted with permission from Tupelo Press.

© 1999 - 2005, by the poets featured herein.