Of the Transplanted World
Libby McDonnell

for Hazel Kimball


A feather and bullet
inert and coupled

on her wooden shelf.
Smooth metal,
soft quill,

dusty murmurs,

a claim to histories
transparent and untraceable --

bird, gun:
which, whose --


Everything carried inside
dulls, stripped

of sun and rain, silk of rivers,
streams plodding

and preening keen
jewels in rippled water-light.

Even the petrified chunk of tree, though
it fares better than

river rocks, seed pods,
her hair.


When she moves out, she tosses.
Not out of intention, but inevitable

momentum. One concession
and it's easy

to throw the place
to the dumpster, piece
by piece unloosed. A game
of it, like hoops

from her apartment steps whatever won't fit
in the car. The rock once a tree

heavedonto a dirt enclosure. Feather
and bullet left atop a firm hedge, a gesture

like placing something with both hands
into another's palm.


When a day strikes an infinite chord
it is its own evidence:

it should be sufficient. Should
be, iscluster of notes

notes along notes

and spicing the path
with notes,one note smooth metal

one note soft quillone note
cypressone note sagebrush one

note sandstone one note
asterone note azure
one note summerone

note songbirdone note met all
one notesoft quill

one note soft quill
one notesoftone




Farewell entwines hello
where her fingers
pinch up red ground.

The cluttered car idles,
breathing at her back.

Sifted from index to thumb,
the red dust of sandstone

fades into flesh tone --

this rock that crumbles readily
and finely as a mood.