Issue 92 - Lauren Moseley

WHEN FOG, WHEN MOUNTAIN 
by Lauren Moseley

 So many cracks--
                        my window is always open. 
Heat and cold,
                        electric saws, steeped ash leaves 
and moths all drift in,
                        but what's best is this:
the smell of a cloud.
                        As if a mountain grew
beneath my bed
                       while I dreamt of skyscrapers.  


My train is now
                       a country train, cradling coal
through mist.
                      Here men masked in soot look
askance or long
                      for me to bring them babies.
Here my mother
                      endured five labors after me,
under moonshine
                      kept on a high shelf. 


This vapor world
                      that knocks the glass--what has it
to do with me, 
                      a woman of the valley who
would rather
                      the earth tower than kneel
before her?
                      I would marry it, but the cloud smell
is a cruel smell:
                     filling me with wanderlust, refusing
to touch my face.