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Cassie Lewis

Three poems

Higher Maths

The News muted by blank snow.
Drivers’ coffee dawn. Promised
cures. Music conjugates the verb
to witness, holding forth. Parish
of all light: shelter those on foot.
Broken town: two trucks collide,
and at one juncture a frozen face
looks more formal than the trees.


I jolt awake. Remember beer for breakfast
in seedy bars. Furnishings close in, suddenly, their sweat.
What is this wanderlust

Stay here wrestling smallest things,
this broken morning.
It is unremitting —
must I force this door?

Haven. You sit still in your chair,
like an absolution. Each of your knuckles burns
white hot on the armrest. You are a saint,

I just pose as someone awake.
How do I tear this parcel open? Are you
the glow inside?

I wiped the smoke off the walls
but I can’t stop the forest.
It blows through the door’s wooden slats as
we confer. Late night TV

glares, and murmurs
“I’ll love you through this.”

Green Apple

Lights strung out across the roofs
all things that are

once were dreamed.

At the kitchen table my hamster worries run
the treadmill. A glass of milk or, for rapid cure,
an ice-pick in the skull.

You are unable to contain yourself,
your edges blur like light

through a prism.
Tonight I make a pot of chicken soup,
thinking of you, cold and blurred in Rochester,
ordering room service.

Mathematics seen through you is like living
colour. The snow falls,
covers all footsteps.

Lights strung across the black roofs
of the most remote houses,

made to bear the weight of powdered ice.
Because I cannot see your face

I write this. Landscapes pitched and green tents
in the valley. Desire is the shape

of our minds. On the page
in the air.

Cassie Lewis photo

Cassie Lewis photo

Cassie Lewis is an Australian who has lived in the United States since 2000. She founded the email discussion list Poetry Espresso, which ran from 2000 — 2004, and still runs the small press of the same name. Her poems have appeared in numerous chapbooks as well as in journals including Tinfish, Shampoo, Meanjin and The Literary Review. They have also been widely anthologized in Australia.

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