Madeleine Barnes is a writer and designer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who received a B.H.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. She will complete her MFA in creative writing at New York University this year. You can find her poems in YEW Journal, Pleiades, The Rattling Wall, Jai-Alai, North Central Review, Plain China, and in her chapbook (2013). She was recently named an emerging writer by the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series.
I remember when I met you, you were timid houndstooth.
Incorruptible and incompatible with me.
Now I wonder if that sweetness is reclaimable,
latent in pulse of months past. Floor it. I need
to recite every lyrical consequence of speed.
It is a spyglass, spotless, unconquerable.
Scream into the glass. All is undecided.
I reread your letter and think that your dimensions
have altered so much that you are barely cursive,
barely the forest untangling as you were before
leaves covered my eyes to close them I’m sorry
but whatever. Overflow into me anyway,
into the all-morning, ever-so-slightly turned soil.
I know you want to be understood but a bonfire
scours the response you can endure.