Poem 94 ± September 6, 2015

Jennifer Chapis
Two Poems


White-throated swifts mate mid-air—

impossibly connected,
the trust-tumbling couple
loses 500 feet.

The rule against making love
at the family Christmas gathering
is clear.

A downpour’s soundtrack, boat oak creaking,
chirrup of canyon birds:

we cannot renounce feeling—
in love we learn love.

How the Invisible Move

Have you ever had a sex dream
without the sex?—inserting the tab,
closing the cereal box, a mournful turn on.

Born under his father’s bottle,
his arm broke faster than glass.

In San Sebastian, I comb the sand
for glass transformed

through its beating, consider love
an attainable miracle.

When I hear of his brother’s suicide,
I imagine their lookalike souls:

Two stallions step from fog,
silver flashing in forelocks

like a dazzling red thread
woven through an abandoned lark’s nest.

Jennifer ChapisJennifer Chapis is the author of The Beekeeper’s Departure (Backwards City , 2007). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, American Letters & Commentary, Salt Hill, and other journals, as well as in Best New Poets 2005 and 2006. Jennifer received the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize chosen by Mark Doty and was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and other book awards. She taught in the Expository Writing Program at NYU for over a decade and co-founded Nightboat Books with Kazim Ali in 2003. Jennifer is an energy healer and founder of the All Love Healing Center in Wilmington, NC, where she leads workshops in meditation and her signature program Writing for Healing™.

“Houseboat” previously appeared in Spire and “How the Invisible Move” appeared in Thin Air.