Alice Cullina

The Questions

Eventually I stopped painting heat.
It is the only way to stop the asking of questions.
They are discernable—like rain in darkness—
and it is worse here where the wind blows so
often, sifting them apart. The questions have
forgotten heat and yet they remember
how to speak. Once when I forgot the screen,
three came into my room. They had nothing
like the bird testing the walls with a force.
They were nearly as dangerous, shifting, wrestling,
trying to taste me. One touched my face. It felt
like falling asleep in public, or like a stillness.

Saint Laurence

I was small when we hollowed the cliffs. Cliffs
like these are salted and languid, and they sometimes

drop near our heads. The seagulls watch them
without disdain, as if they watched children

in a yard. On the beach we found a dead
seal but it didn't know. It sat at our bonfire

beside a small cup of grape juice and it changed shapes
with its hollow. We did not bury it. In two years

it was gone. We were not yet gone, we were like
the reeds in a childhood drama, ready and soft.

Sometimes my aunt marched and sometimes we held
our knees with our fingers, cold. Today we found an oval

of grass growing in the ocean. It is greener and
thick with the urgency.

about the author


13.1 (Fall 2008)   The 2River View